Early New England Public Offices

It seems that every other immigrant to New England in the 17th C. held public office.    I’ve tagged over 150 of my ancestors with the category “Public Office” because they held one of these public offices.  With annual terms for selectman, constable, fence viewer, grand jury, general court, etc. everyone who wanted to had a chance to participate.  I think this participation is one of the most important sources of the American identity.  Here are definitions of a few of the terms.

Freeman =  those persons who were not under legal restraint – usually for the payment of an outstanding debt, because they had recently relocated, or because they were idle and had no way in which they could continue the justification of their stay within the colony.

“Freedom” was earned after an allotted time, or until the person demanding “payment” was satisfied – this was known as indentured servitude, and was not originally intended as a stigma or embarrassment for the person involved since many of the sons and daughters of the wealthy and famous of the time found themselves forced into such temporary servitudes. It was a sort of debtor’s prison without the walls, torture, or meager subsistence.

Initially, anyone first entering into a colony, or just recently having become a member of one of the local churches, was formally not free. Such persons were never forced to work for another individual, per se, but their movements were carefully observed, and if they veered from the Puritanical ideal, they were asked to leave the colony. If they stayed or later returned to the colony, they were put to death.There was an unstated probationary period that the prospective “freeman” needed to go through, and if he did pass this probationary period of time – usually one to two years – he was allowed his freedom.

Initially, all persons seeking to be free needed to take the Oath of a Freeman, in which they vowed to defend the Commonwealth and not to conspire to overthrow the government. The first handwritten version of the “Freeman’s Oath” was made in 1634; it was printed by Stephen Daye in 1639 in the form of a broadside or single sheet of paper intended for posting in public placesA Freeman was said to be free of all debt, owing nothing to anyone except God Himself.

To be considered a freeman, adult males had to be sponsored by an existing freeman and accepted by the General Court. Later restrictions established a one-year waiting period between nominating and granting of freeman status and also placed religious restrictions on the colony’s citizens, specifically preventing Quakers from becoming freemen.

However, as time wore on, the name “freeman” somehow became associated with the servitude of slavery, and many of those who had thought that their servitude was only temporary, soon found out that their master was asking them to work a little bit too hard, or that he was taking a little bit too long in setting them free.

As a result, many “servants” began escaping and eventually the entire system of “freemen” was officially eliminated by 1691, though parts of the system did still remain through the 18th century.

Captain- Each town, named in the several counties, contained a company of soldiers. The soldiers of each town chose their own Captain and subalterns by a majority vote. The officers, when chosen, were installed into their place by the Major of the regiment.  The Court order, that all the souldiers belonging to the twenty-six bands in the Mattachusetts government, shall be exercised and drilled eight daies in a yeare, and whosoever should absent himself, except it were upon unavoidable occasions, should pay 5s. for every daie’s neglect.  Each regiment is to be exercised once a year.

Constables – were elected by town officials to serve the writs and processes described in section ninety-two of the General Court and warrants and processes in criminal cases, where their town, parish, religious society or district is a party or interested. They shall have the powers of sheriffs to require aid in the execution of their duties. They shall take due notice of and prosecute all violations of law respecting the observance of the Lord’s day, profane swearing and gaming. They shall serve all warrants and other processes directed to them by the selectmen of their town for notifying town meetings or for other purposes. They may serve by copy, attested by them, demands, notices and citations, and their returns of service thereof shall be prima facie evidence; but this provision shall not exclude the service thereof by other persons.

Among other popular activities, Constables collected taxes.  Since there was very little cash in those days they were required to accept payment in produce at rates set by the town council. The handling of such produce made the collection of taxes an arduous task.

Deacon –  The role of deacon in Protestant denominations varies greatly from denomination to denomination.   In Presbyterianism, the office of deacon is geared toward the care of members, their families, and the surrounding community.  Generally, a deacon is a member of the laity who may undergo some training. He or she may work part time, helping out a minister or pastor with various church tasks, often with a team of deacons who work together to distribute their duties. Because a deacon is not ordained, he or she cannot give sermons, but deacons may offer religious counseling, handle church records, and help organize meetings, events, and church outreach.

The position of a deacon is a position of service to the church and the lay community. He or she may be entitled to wear certain vestments and perform various tasks, depending on the branch of Christianity which the deacon serves. Many deacons establish close personal relationships with the people in the communities which they serve, and they also tend to become close with the church officials that they work with.

Puritans felt that they were chosen by God for a special purpose and that they must live every moment in a God-fearing manner. Every man, woman, and child was expected to attend the meeting on the Sabbath without question. Puritans were required to read the Bible which showed their religious discipline. If they didn’t read the Bible, it was thought that they were worshiping the devil.

Preparatons for the Sabbath began the day before. All of the food had to be cooked and clothes ready. No labor, not even sewing, could be done on the Sabbath. The Sabbath began at sundown the night before, and the evening was spent in prayer and Bible study.

The church was usually a small bare building. Upon entering people would take their appropriate places. The men sat on one side, the women sat on the other, and the boys did not sit with their parents, but sat together in a designated pew where they were expected to sit in complete silence. The deacons sat in the front row just below the pulpit because everyone agreed the first pew was the one of highest dignity. The servants and slaves crowded near the door and rushed to a loft or balcony.

The service began with a prayer given by the minister that usually lasted around an hour. Puritans did not like music in their services. They also felt that music and celebrating were not appropriate in the church meeting house. It was many years before any musical instruments were allowed in the church

Elder – The office of elder is another distinctive mark of Presbyterianism: these are specially ordained non-clergy who take part in local pastoral care and decision-making at all levels.  An elder in Christianity is a person valued for his wisdom who accordingly holds a particular position of responsibility in a Christian group. In some Christian traditions (e.g., Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, Methodism) an elder is a clergy person who usually serves a local church or churches and who has been ordained to a ministry of Word, Sacrament and Order, filling the preaching and pastoral offices. In other Christian traditions (e.g.Presbyterianism, Redeemer, Baptists), an elder may be a lay person charged with serving as an administrator in a local church, or be ordained to such an office.

Church governance is generally organised in one of three main types:

  • Episcopal polity, in which churches are governed in a heirarchical fashion, with the role of elders being fulfilled by external bishops. It is common in Anglican, Orthodox, Methodist, Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches.
  • Presbyterian polity, in which churches are governed on a denominational, geographical basis by committees of elders.
  • Congregational polity, in which each church is responsible for its own governance. Churches employing this method include Baptist, Congregational and Plymouth Brethren churches. Some churches are led by a pastor; some maintain a plurality of elders.

Fence Viewer – A town or city official who administers fence laws by inspecting new fence and settlement of disputes arising from trespass by livestock that have escaped enclosure.

The office of Fence Viewer is one of the oldest appointments in New England. The office emigrated along with New England pioneers to the Midwest as well, where the office still exists.

New England farmers clearing their land during the 17th century were confronted with boulders and stones left by retreating glaciers. They cleared their fields of the boulders with horses and built stone walls along the edges of their fields, frequently at the property boundary. Many of these walls still exist.

A Fence Viewer was needed on those occasions when walls were eroded, moved, or modified illegally. This was a serious offense.

Upon request of any citizen, the Fence Viewer: views fences to see that they are in good repair and in case of disputes between neighbors, works to resolve their differences. Problems such as size, condition, and distance from property lines are complaints that still arise between neighbors.

Early Fence Viewers, armed with wall measurements, were able to arbitrate and/or prosecute such crimes by adjoining farmers. Trespassing by livestock was illegal. Boundaries and fences had to be maintained. If a farmer neglected his fence, his neighbor could do the repairs and charge his nonperforming neighbor twice the cost. If the negligent neighbor didn’t come up with the money, he had to pay 12% interest until payment was made.

In Massachusetts, this position was first established in 1693 by a statute which was amended in 1785 and again in 1836. Early Fence Viewers, armed with wall measurements, were able to arbitrate and/or prosecute such crimes by adjoining farmers. Trespassing by livestock was illegal. Boundaries and fences had to be maintained. If a farmer neglected his fence, his neighbor could do the repairs and charge his nonperforming neighbor twice the cost. If the negligent neighbor didn’t come up with the money, he had to pay 12% interest until payment was made.

Today, the Fence Viewer advises lot owners prior to constructing a fence. The height of the fence can be no higher than six feet except near intersections. Lot owners at intersections cannot erect a fence nor shrubbery closer than five feet to allow good visibility. A fence or shrub near there must be no higher than three feet.

Spite fences erected to annoy neighbors are illegal. The Fence Viewer has the power to order such fences changed to be inoffensive. If hostilities escalate, the building inspector is asked to become involved. His word is final. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 49 describe in detail the obligations of lot owners

Today, the Fence Viewer advises lot owners prior to constructing a fence

Free Holder = One who by grant, purchase or inheritance was entitled to a share of the “Commons,” or undivided lands. The freeman alone could vote in the nomination of magistrates and deputies to the General Court. A freeholder need not be a freeman or vice versa. He might he neither, yet be qualified to vote in all town affairs. All inhabitants could vote on any question involving raising money. If a free holder was deemed legally incompetent, didn’t pass his probationary period, or again lost his freedom through some irresponsibility of his own, he would have had his land and property confiscated from him and redistributed amongst the remaining freemen even if the inheritor was a well respected citizen.

General Court of Plymouth Colony – Both the chief legislative and judicial body of the colony. It was elected by the freemen from among their own number and met regularly in Plymouth, the capital town of the colony. As part of its judicial duties, it would periodically call a “Grand Enquest”, which was a grand jury of sorts, elected from the freemen, who would hear complaints and swear out indictments for credible accusations. The General Court, and later lesser town and county courts, would preside over trials of accused criminals and over civil matters, but the ultimate decisions were made by a jury of freemen

Grand Inquest / Grand Jury – . As part of its judicial duties, the  General Court of Plymouthwould periodically call a “Grand Enquest”, which was a grand jury of sorts, elected from the freemen, who would hear complaints and swear out indictments for credible accusations. The General Court, and later lesser town and county courts, would preside over trials of accused criminals and over civil matters, but the ultimate decisions were made by a jury of freemen

Pindar – The person in charge of impounding stray cattle.

Selectmen – In most New England towns, the adult voting population gathered annually in a town meeting to act as the local legislature, approving budgets and laws. Day-to-day operations were originally left to individual oversight, but when towns became too large for individuals to handle such work loads, they would elect an executive board of, literally, select(ed) men to run things for them.  These men had charge of the day-to-day operations; selectmen were important in legislating policies central to a community’s police force, highway supervisors, poundkeepers, field drivers, and other officials.

Surveyor of Highways – “By 1638 the General Court, the Colony’s legislative body, ordered that roads be laid out, and in 1640, that roads between the early towns be maintained. Soon thereafter, the construction, care and maintenance of highways was formally placed on the towns by the General Court, primarily to ensure the care of the routes in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1643, the Court ordered each Municipality to appoint two officials, known as surveyors, who were given the power to “call out every Teeme and person fitt for labour, in their course, one day every yeare, to mend said highwayes wherein they are to have a spetiall to those Common wayes which are betwixt Towne and Towne.” This compulsory labor statute was enlarged in the 1650 Code of Laws, which authorized financial penalties on those men who failed to meet their annual road work obligation of two days work a year: “if any refuse or neglect to attend the service in any manner aforesaid He shall forefeit for every dayes neglect of a mans worke two shillings sixpence, and of a Teame, sixe shillings . . .” This act formalized a custom that dated at least from medieval England. It would continue to remain in effect until the nineteenth century, providing the main source of workers for road and bridge construction.  Bridges were also under the jurisdiction of the General Court.  Throughout the seventeenth century, the Court ordered that bridges be built in a variety of locations.

The Surveyor of the Highways also monitored conditions, and arranged and supervised the work parties.   It wasn’t easy to compel neighbors to spend several days a year doing hard labor on local roads—even if it was the law.  Refusing to accept the post could result in a fine, which goes to show the unpaid post was unpopular.

Tithingmen – “By 1638 the General Court, the Colony’s legislative body, ordered that roads be laid out, and in 1640, that roads between the early towns be maintained. Soon thereafter, the construction, care and maintenance of highways was formally placed on the towns by the General Court, primarily to ensure the care of the routes in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1643, the Court ordered each Municipality to appoint two officials, known as surveyors, who were given the power to “call out every Teeme and person fitt for labour, in their course, one day every yeare, to mend said highwayes wherein they are to have a spetiall to those Common wayes which are betwixt Towne and Towne.” This compulsory labor statute was enlarged in the 1650 Code of Laws, which authorized financial penalties on those men who failed to meet their annual road work obligation of two days work a year: “if any refuse or neglect to attend the service in any manner aforesaid He shall forefeit for every dayes neglect of a mans worke two shillings sixpence, and of a Teame, sixe shillings . . .” This act formalized a custom that dated at least from medieval England. It would continue to remain in effect until the nineteenth century, providing the main source of workers for road and bridge construction.

Townsmen –  As terms of elective office in early New England, townsman and selectman are generally  regarded as synonymous. There are instances, however, in which treating them as such is inappropriate. In Rehoboth from 1644 through 1686, a townsman was someone elected to a board of usually seven men to manage the town’s affairs. From 1666 through 1686, a Rehoboth selectman was someone (usually also a townsman) chosen to sit on a “select court” of three (1666–1684) or five (1685–1686) local magistrates to adjudicate minor civil disputes. The Plymouth Colony General Court had in 1665 expanded the powers of a town’s “select men” (town councilmen) to include this judicial function. In contrast to the town of Plymouth, for example, which chose a single set of officers (selectmen) during this period, Rehoboth (and adjacent Swansea) elected its governing board (townsmen) and local magistrates (selectmen) separately. The 1685 edition of colony laws (distributed in mid-1686) reaffirms that both roles belong to the single office of selectman.

Trainbands – Companies of militia, first organized in the 16th century and dissolved in the 18th. In the early American colonies the trainband was the most basic tactical unit. However, no standard company size ever existed and variations were wide. As population grew these companies were organized into regiments to allow better management. But trainbands were not combat units. Generally, upon reaching a certain age a man was required to join the local trainband in which he received periodic training for the next couple of decades. In wartime military forces were formed by selecting men from trainbands on an individual basis and then forming them into a fighting

The exact derivation and usage is not clear.   The issue is whether the men “received training” in the modern sense, or whether they were “in the train” or retinue or were otherwise organized around a military “train” as in horse-drawn artillery.

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Nellie Coleman 1890/91 Letters

Many thanks to Chuck Russell who just sent me these two letters that my great grandmother Nellie Coleman (later Shaw, See Howard Irwin SHAW’s page) wrote to her aunt Elvira Coleman Gilbert.  Chuck is the grandson of Nellie’s sister Lucy and BBF Lucy.   Nellie wrote these letters in pencil because she “hasn’t conquered her aversion to pen and ink” and over 113 years the letters became faint.   However, through 21st century magic, I  adjusted the contrast so it’s easier to read.

Nellie was 13 years old when she wrote this first letter.  She was living “out west” in Anoka Minnesota and her aunts and uncles were in the east in Vassalboro, Maine.

Nellie Coleman age 18, four or five years after she wrote these letters

Nellie Coleman age 18, four or five years after she wrote these letters

See Dudley COLEMAN’s page for descriptions of Nellie’s aunts and uncles

Her father’s younger sister, Eleanor, who everyone said looked like Nellie was born 1 Jul 1850 in Vassalboro and died at age ten 18 May 1861 Vassalboro. I don’t have a picture.

Aunt Elvira is Elvira Brown (Alvira or Vi) Coleman b. 25 Mar 1845 Maine; d. 22 Jan 1930 Vassalboro, Maine; m. 25 Nov 1865 Vassalboro to William Wallace Gilbert.

Aunt Maria is Cynthia Maria Eastman Coleman b. 8 Aug 1830 Vassalboro; d. 20 Mar 1897 Augusta, Kennebec, Maine; m. 1 Dec 1857 Augusta, Maine Daniel Foster

Aunt Roxy is Roxanna “Roxie” Parmenter Coleman b. 24 Feb 1835 Vassalboro; d. 30 Nov 1926 Vassalboro; m1. 20 Apr 1854 to Augustus Plummer; m2. 5 Sep 1863 Kennebec, ME to Charles R. Church; m3. 22 Aug 1869 to Marcellus Lovejoy

Aunt Sophornia Richardson was born Sophronia Sanborn in 1817. Her parents were Timothy Sanborn and Hannah [__?__]. Sophornia married Amasa Richardson Nov 1837. Her mother Hannah had become Amasa’s stepmother in 1833 when she married Seth RICHARDSON as his second wife.  Not only that, but Sophornia’s sister Hannah married Amasa’s brother John.  Amasa Richardson was born 22 Jun 1809 Vassalboro and died after 1885 in Anoka, MN

Nellie 1890

Elvira, Charles, Eliza and sitting Cynthia Maria Coleman

I’m not sure if this is the picture Nellie was referencing, but it has the four aunts and uncles she mentions.  Elvira, Charles, Eliza and sitting Cynthia Maria Coleman
Photo Credit: Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Nellie’s sister Esther was 14 years older. Esther married 12 Sep 1882 St. Paul MN to Edgar Howard Fitz  and already had four children by 1890 and were living in Martin county, Minnesota about 150 miles southwest of Anoka near the Iowa state line. (See Guilford Dudley COLEMAN’s page)

Little Ellen was Ellen Webber Coleman b. 5 Feb 1883, Anoka, MN; d. 1888 Pipestone, MN

Ammi, Nellie’s brother was nine years older.

Ellen Webber Coleman  Age  2 1/2

Ellen Webber Coleman Age 2 1/2

Nellie 1890 2.

Nellie was 14 years old when she wrote this second letter.  She would later join her brother Ammi and sister Eleanor in the “wild and wooly west.”   The mining town where my grandmother was born, Giltedge, Montana is now a ghost town.

Nellie 1890 4
Nellie 1890 3
Edgar Howard Fitz was  a civil engineer and architect from St. Paul, came to work on a bridge spanning the river at Anoka.  ”He went on Sunday to the church” where he met Esther Coleman.  they made their home in St. Paul.  Office work proved too confining for E.H. Fitz so a few months later they moved to the farm in Martin County near the Iowa state line, later known as Cedar Park Farm.  When Dudley was two years old, the farm was rented for a year and the family went to Great Falls, MT to join the King family.
Nellie 1890 5
Emma Prescott was Nellie’s mother’s twin sister.   Emma A. Webber was born 3 Aug 1835 in Vassalboro, Maine. She married Jacob Melvin Prescott bef. 1863   Emma died between 1895-1900 in Tama, Iowa

Nellie 1890 6

Herbert S Prescott  who visited was born Jun 1867 in China, Maine and died 13 Nov 1928 in Salem, Oregon  He married in 1897 to Alice M. Peck (Mar 1864 in Cedar Falls, Iowa – 9 Dec 1940 in Salem, Marion, Oregon)

In the 1900 census, Herbert was working as a mechanic in Waterloo, Iowa. In the 1910 census, Herbert was a newspaper editor in Grants Pass, Oregon. Strangely, Herbert is listed twice in the 1920 census, as a newspaper reporter living with Alice in Salem, Oregon and as a laborer living with his sister Mabel Smith in Atascadero, California.

Mabel Prescott who perhaps visited the next summer was born  1 Mar 1872 in Montour, Tama, Iowa  and died 5 Jan 1956 in Los Angeles, California.  She married Putnam David Smith (b. 11 Aug 1857 Grant County, Wisconsin – d. 27 Nov 1933, Monfort, Grant, Wisconsin) Putnam was 15 years older than Mabel. In the 1910 census, Mabel was an artist (picture painter) in Brooklyn Township, Oakland, Calfornia. In the 1920 census, Putnam was now the artist living in Atascadero, California. By the 1930 census, Putnam and Mabel were retired in Los Angeles. After Putnam died, Mabel married a man named Liddle.

They started a family business making china composition dolls called the American Beauty Doll Company,when German dolls became scarce during World War I.    Artist dolls were hand made by Mr. Putnam David Smith, his wife Mabel Smith and their young daughter Margaret.

Nellie 1890 9

Alice H. Webber was born Jan 1865 in Vassalboro, Kennebec, Maine.  She married in   1889 to  Richard Jude (13 Mar 1857 in Buffalo, Wright, Minnesota – 26 Aug 1932 in Anoka, Anoka, Minnesota) Richard’s parents were from Ireland.  Alice died 2 Aug 1919 in Hennepin, Minnesota. )  .

In the 1900 census, Richard was a butcher in Ramsey, Anoka, Minnesota. In 1910, he was a general farmer in Ramsey.

Alice (Webber) Jude ca. 1885, Anoka, MN

Alice (Webber) Jude ca. 1885, Anoka, MN

Nellie 1890 7


Nellie 1890 8

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Moses Estey

Moses Estey (1656 – 1714) was not a direct ancestor, only a cousin  His Revolutionary pension and famous sons and daughters-in-law are too verbose to put on his grandfather’s page, but are interesting stories.  How did his son-in-law go from a Presbyterian Sunday School teacher from Newark to the first President of Texas?

Moses Estey was born  7 Jan 1752 in Enfield, Hartford, CT; His parents were Moses Estey and Eunice Pengilly (Penguille), His grandparents were Isaac ESTEY and  Abigail KIMBALL . He married first married Elizabeth Fearcio .  After Elizabeth died, he married in 1784 to Anne Kirkpatrick Moses and Anne had seven children born between 1783 and 1801.

Elizabeth Fearcio was born in 1760 Elizabeth died in 1783 of consumption.

Anne Kirkpatrick was born 10 Mar 1764 in  Somerset, New Jersey.  Her parents were David M. Kirkpatrick (1724 – 1814) and Mary McEowen (1728 – 1795) Her brother Andrew Andrew Kirkpatrick (wiki) (1756–1831) was Chief Justice of New Jersey from 1804 to 1825.  Anne died 11 Nov 1809 in Morristown, Morris, New Jersey.

Children of Moses and Anne:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Judge David Kirkpatrick Este 21 Oct 1785 Morristown, Middlesex, New Jersey Lucy Ann Harrison
30 Sep 1819
Louise Miller
1 Apr 1875 Cincinnati, Ohio
2. Elizabeth Estey 8 Jul 1787, Morristown, Somerset, NJ William Nottingham
2 Oct 1808 Morristown, NJ
3. Charles Estey 12 May 1789, Morristown, Somerset, NJ. Mary Johnson 25 Jan 1817
4. William John Estey 9 Jul 1791, Morristown, Somerset, NJ Philadelphia, PA
5. Sarah Ann Estey 30 Apr 1793 Morristown, NJ Lewis Mills
11 Dec 1817 Morristown
13 Jun 1842 Morristown, Middlesex, New Jersey
6. Hannah Este 17 Feb 1800  Morristown, Morris, New Jersey David G. Burnet (wiki), 30 Oct 1857 in Galveston, Galveston, Texas
7. Alfred Augustus Estey 10 Aug 1802 Cincinnati, Ohio Mary Sears
10 Nov 1825 Rome, Oneida, NY
Sarah M. Kelley
1843 Rome, NY
21 May 1899 in Constantia, Oswego, New York
8. Mary Este 1801 in Morristown, Morris, New Jersey Josephs C Clopper Oct 1882

In about 1756, Moses moved with his parents from Enfield, CT to Bucks County, Pennsylvania. About five or six years later, the family moved to Readington township, Hunterdon, New Jersey. Moses received an apprenticeship in Philadelphia and returned to Readington where he lived when the war broke out.

Moses Estey Portrait

Moses Estey Portrait

In 1774, Moses Estey was elected lieutenant of militia in Capt. Joseph Hawkinson’s company. The officers were confirmed by the Committee of Safety rather than Continental or Provincial authorities.  Soon after the outbreak of war, Capt. Hawkinson resigned and Moses was elected Captain, but whether in 1775 or 1776, Moses could not remember in his 1832 pension application.  His commissions were destroyed when his house burned down 19 Jan 1786 along with all his papers.

Many Committees of Safety were established throughout Colonial America at the start of theAmerican Revolution. These committees in part grew out of the less formal Sons of Liberty groups, which started to appear in the 1760’s as means to discuss and spread awareness of the concerns of the time, and often consisted of every male adult in the community. The local militias were usually under the control of the committees, which in turn sent representatives to county- and colony-level assemblies to represent their local interests.    Committees of Safety formed in 1774 to keep watch on the distrusted royal government. By 1775 they had become the operating government of all the colonies, as the royal officials were expelled.

He and his company were called for a month’s of duty during warm weather in 1776 and assigned to Elizabethtown in Col. (probably Major at the time)  Oliver Spencer’s house under Col. John  Taylor 4th Hunterdon Militia. and General William Winds. to perform guard duty upon the lines and at the several points of landing and to protect the inhabitants from invasion of the enemy who at that time was in control of New York and Staten Island and make frequent incursions along the Jersey shore.  At the end of the month his company was released and returned home.

There were regular calls for service from the Colonel of the Regiment and General of the Brigade

He served on tours of duty, guarding prisoners and stores. He was at the battle of Monmouth where he received a gunshot wound in his left thigh.   He was involved in several skirmishes.   In 1832 he was placed on the pension roll for service of captain, New Jersey line and drew an annual pension of $180.

In 1779 or 1780 he moved to Morris County, New Jersey, and lived a year or two at Black River, later Chester and then moved to Morristown.

He was collector of internal revenue for the New Jersey district during President Washington’s administration.

Captain Moses Estey built the Moses Estey house in Speedwell, News Jersey, after a fire had destroyed his earlier house on the same site in January, 1786. Estey, a chairmaker by trade, had at one time a chair factory in the back of his residence.

Moses Estey Pension

Moses Estey Pension

Moses Estey Pension 2

Moses Estey Pension 3
Moses Estey Pension 4
Moses Estey Pension 5
Moses Estey Pension 6
Moses Estey Pension 7
Moses Estey Pension 8
Moses Estey Pension 9
Moses Estey Pension 10
Moses Estey Pension 11
Moses Estey Pension 12
Moses Estey Pension 13
Moses Estey Pension 14

Este, Moses, Capt NJ Militia; wounded at Monmouth, 28 June 1778

Moses Estey House

Moses Estey House at original location Water and Spring Streets

The Estey House is two-and-a-half stories high over a basement and has a spacious entrance hall flanked by two rooms on each side. The second floor has a similar plan. All eight rooms have fireplaces and the house has two chimneys on both sides. Each pair of chimneys has been brought together in the attic to appear as a single chimney above the roof. Double recessed arches on opposite sides of the cellar support the massive stonework for the fireplaces. The stairway in the front hall is obviously of a later date than 1786 and was probably built as an auxiliary to the original box stair still remaining.

Capt Moses Estey House – American Historical Buildings Survey

Although the Estey House has undergone some renovations over the years, its structural integrity remains intact. Visitors to Historic Speedwell admire its elegance and the classical harmony of its lines.

Moses Estey House  Morristown, New Jersey

Moses Estey House Morristown, New Jersey

The Moses Estey House was removed from its location on the corner of Spring and Water Streets  in Morristown when it faced demolition by an urban renewal project. Three late 18th- and early 19th-century Morristown houses threatened with demolition were moved to Speedwell – the Gabriel Ford CottageMoses Estey House and L’Hommedieu-Gwinnup House. The Speedwell Village made the same agreement with H.U.D. as made for the L’Hommedieu-Gwinnup House. Since then, the roof has been repaired and the chimneys capped. Awaiting restoration.


Two of the daughters, Hannah and Sarah, married well-known men. Hannah married  who became the first president of the Republic of Texas, and Sarah married Lewis Mills, a prominent Morristown citizen. During the 1830s, Sarah and Lewis owned the family home in Morristown. One son, David Kirkpatrick Estey, became a judge of the Supreme Court of Ohio and lived in Cincinnati. He married a daughter of President William Henry Harrison.

It was stated the Moses wrote his name Estey, but his children all wrote their name Este.

1. Judge David Kirkpatrick Este

David’s first wife Lucy Ann Harrison was born in 5 Sep 1800 in Richmond, Richmond, Virginia.  Her parents were President William Henry Harrison (1773 – 1841) and Anna Tuthill Symmes (1775 – 1864).  Lucy died 7 Apr 1826 in Cincinnati, Ohio. David and Lucy had two children: Lucy Ann Harrison Este  (1822 – 1868) and William Henry Harrison Este (1824 – 1830).

William Henry Harrison in 1841;  This is an early (circa 1850) photographic copy of an 1841 daguerreotype.  Harrison was the first President to have his picture taken while in office

William Henry Harrison Daguerreotype. Harrison was the first President to have his picture taken while in office

In 1795 Harrison met Anna Symmes, of North Bend, Ohio. She was the daughter of Judge John Cleves Symmes, a prominent figure in the state, and former representative to the Congress of the Confederation.When Harrison asked the judge for permission to marry Anna, he was refused. Harrison waited until Symmes left on business, then he and Anna eloped and married on Nov 25, 1795.  Afterward, concerned about Harrison’s ability to provide for Anna, Symmes sold the young couple 160 acres of land in North Bend.

Together they had 10 children. Nine lived into adulthood and one died in infancy. Anna was frequently in poor health during the marriage, primarily due to her many pregnancies.  Nevertheless, she outlived William by 23 years, dying at age 88 on February 25, 1864.

Harrison is also believed to have had six children with one of his female slaves, Dilsia. When he ran for president he did not want “bastard slave children” around, so he gave four of his children to his brother, who sold them to a Georgia planter. Through this family line, Harrison is the great-grandfather of famous black civil rights activist Walter Francis White. White was the president of the NAACP from 1931–1955.

David’s second wife Louise Miller was born 15 Oct 1803 in Louisiana. Her parents were Judge William Miller (1762 – 1845) and Ursula Meullion (1781 – 1840). Ursula’s father Ennemond Meuillion, was a French aristocrat who fled before the Revolution, coming to Louisiana “about 1770, soon after Spain took over the government of that vast territory.”

The Meuillions settled on the Red River near present-day Alexandria. The area, called El Rapido by the Spanish and Rapides by the French, was named for the nearby limestone rapids. A Spanish fort, the Post of El Rapido, fronted the river. Meuillion built a home nearby, cleared trees for a plantation, and prospered growing cotton.When war broke out between Spain and Great Britain in 1779, Meuillion signed on as a sublieutenant in the service of Spanish general Bernardo de Galvez, who aided the American cause. After the war Meuillion continued to grow cotton and doctor the community while serving under the Spaniards as commandant of Fort Rapides. He died in his plantation home in 1820 at eighty-three.

Ursula Meuillion, the second child of Ennemond Meuillion and Jeannette Poiret  was born in 1784.   Her granddaughter, Alice Pike Barney wrote more than a century later, “was exquisitely petite, delicate, and adorable. She refused to learn English, which meant that all those about her were forced to learn French.”A favorite family legend told of the time that Ursula received a message from her husband: “Lafayette vient! Préparez inunediatement!” Having no idea who Lafayette was but nonetheless terrified at the thought of his arrival, she urged the household into panic mode. Everyone scurried about, burying the silver, hiding the horses in the bayou, sending the chickens cackling. When everything was locked up, Ursula, the children, and the rest of the household fled deep into the woods. By the time her husband rode home with his illustrious guest, General Lafayette — American Revolutionary hero and friend of George Washington — they found not the hospitable welcome they expected, but a deserted house.

Ursula Meullion married William Miller, one of the early settlers of Rapides, who afterwards became the first territorial judge of the parish. He came here as a partner of Alexander Fulton (Wiki), who founded Alexandria which he named for himself. Judge Miller and his wife had thirteen children.

Judge William Miller, represented France at New Orleans when the Louisiana Territory was transferred from Spain to France and later served as agent of the United States when the Territory was fnially incorporated into the nation.

Judge William Miller (1762 - 1845)

Judge William Miller (1762 – 1845)

His grandson William Miller Este wrote a book in 1892: “Honest” Judge William Miller, Commissioner and Agent, on the Part of the Republics of France and of the United States, to Receive Possession of the Post and Depending Territory of Rapides, Louisiana, in 1804, Commissioned a Judge Under the New Régime

David and Louise had five children: Ursula C. Este (1830 – 1916), Major William Miller Este (1831 – 1900), Louisa Este (1834 – 1915), George W. Este (1836 – 1836) and David K. Este (1837 – 1886). Louisa died 23 Jan 1907 – Baltimore, Maryland.

David Este graduated at Princeton in 1803, and studied law under difficulties, owing to partial loss of eyesight. He removed to Ohio in 1809, settled in Cincinnati in 1814, and became prominent in his profession. He was associated with Henry Clay as counsel for the Bank of the United States for the Northwest Territory, and his practice extended to the U. S. Supreme Court. In 1834 he was elected president judge of the ninth judicial circuit of Ohio, and in 1838 judge of the superior court of Cincinnati. On the expiration of his term in 1847 he retired to private life. Judge Este was an advocate of much force and skill, and a man of great research. In his long life he was singularly above reproach.

In the 1850 census, David was a Legal Professor living in New Haven, Connecticut with Louisa,

2. Elizabeth Estey

Elizabeth’s husband William Nottingham was born in Philadelphia

In the 1840 census, an Elizabeth Nottingham was the head of a large household in Trenton, NJ that included “eight white persons and two colored persons”

3. Charles Estey

Charles’ wife Mary Johnson was born about 1788

In the War of 1812, Charles was a surgeon at the fall of Detroit.

5. Sarah Ann Estey

Sarah’s husband Lewis Mills was born 19 Jan 1788 in Morristown, Morris, NJ.  His parents were Edward Mills (1749 – 1827) and Phebe Byram (1758 – 1795).  He first married  19 Jan 1809 in Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey to Mary Armstrong Pierson (b. ~1784 – d. 22 Feb 1816  Morristown)  Lewis died 5 Mar 1869.

Sarah and Lewis had eight children born in Morristown between 1819 and 1836.

Lewis was a successful merchant.

6. Hannah Estey

Hannah’s husband David Gouverneur Burnet wiki   was born 14 Apr 1788 in Newark, New Jersey. His parents were Dr. William Burnet (wiki)  (1730 – 1791) and his second wife, Gertrude Gouverneur Rutgers, widow of Anthony Rutgers (a brother of  Henry Rutgers who founded Rutgers University) . His father had served in the Continental Congress and as Surgeon General. Both of his parents died when Burnet was a child and his was raised by his older half brothers.   His brother Isaac (wiki)  served as the first mayor of Cincinnati.   His half brother  Jacob (wiki)  was  lawyer, ardent federalist, and later a Whig who nominated his friend, William Henry Harrison, for president, served as a member of the territorial council of Ohio, state legislator, Supreme Court judge, and United States senator, and was honored for intellectual achievements including a history of the territory of Ohio, , while Ichabod and William, Jr. followed their father as doctors.   David died 5 Dec 1870 in Galveston, Texas.

David G Burnet

David G Burnet

David was an early politician within the Republic of Texas, serving as the first (interim)   President of Texas (1836) and again in 1841,  second Vice President of the Republic of Texas (1839–41), and Secretary of State (1846) for the new state of Texas after it was annexed to the United States.   The first Reconstruction state legislature appointed him to the U.S. Senate, but he was unable to take his seat due to the Ironclad oath

He wrote proudly in 1859 that he had never been a Democrat and deplored the course of the “ignorant popular Sovereignty.” His attitude and politics did not make him popular in Texas, and his entire life was a string of disappointments.  Nevertheless, he was the first President of Texas.

“David G. Burnet united the perferfidium ingenium of the Scotch character with the unbending sternness of principle of an old covenanter.  Old John Knox would have hugged such a character with grim delight.  It does not detract from the virtures of this gentleman that he neither possessed eminent administrative capacity, nor in a high degree that knowledge of human nature and tact in managing men which inferior men often acquire; nor that political wisdom and statesmanship accorded to but few”–Ashbel Smith in Reminiscences of the Republic, 1876.

In 1830 Burnet established his saw mill on 17 acres  of land along the San Jacinto River, in an area  known as Burnet’s Bay, 10 miles east of Houston in Baytown, TX.  (Oakland on Burnet Bay is a majestic and monumental estate home built in the likeness of the 1830’s antebellum plantation mansions of the Gulf Coast area.    The home was built to commemorate the home site of the first Ad Interim President of the Republic of Texas, David G. Burnet. President Burnet and his family lived at “Oakland” in the era of the Battle of San Jacinto and the early Republic of Texas years.

Burnet County Texas

Burnet County Texas

Burnet County was named in his honor when it was formed in 1852, as was the county seat.  The name of the county is pronounced with the emphasis  on the first syllable, just as its namesake David Burnet.

Burnet’s Early Life

In 1805, Burnet became a clerk for a New York counting house, Robinson and Hartshorne. When the firm suffered financial difficulty, Burnet gave his entire personal inheritance, $1,200, to try to save the company. The firm went bankrupt, and Burnet lost all of the money.

David fought with Francisco de Miranda (1754 - 1816) Nicknamed El Precursor  (de Bolivar) y El Primer Venezolano Universal

David fought with Francisco de Miranda (1754 – 1816) Nicknamed El Precursor (de Bolivar) y El Primer Venezolano Universal

Burnet volunteered to serve the unsuccessful revolt led by Francisco de Miranda for the independence of Venezuela from Spain. Wikipedia says he fought in Chile in 1806 and in Venezuela in 1808 and after Miranda broke with Simon Bolivar, Burnet returned to the United States.  I don’t see evidence Miranda fought in Chile.  Also Miranda returned to Venezuela from England in 1810 and was  not betrayed by Bolivar until 1812.  Other sources say Burnet returned to the US in 1806.

Miranda envisioned an independent empire consisting of all the territories that had been under Spanish and Portuguese rule, stretching from the Mississippi River to Cape Horn. This empire was to be under the leadership of a hereditary emperor called the “Inca”, in honor of the great Inca Empire, and would have a bicameral legislature. He conceived the name Colombia for this empire, after the explorer Christopher Columbus.

With informal British help, Miranda led an attempted invasion of the Captaincy General of Venezuela in 1806. At the time Britain was at war with Spain, an ally of Napoleon. In November 1805 Miranda travelled to New York, where he rekindled his acquaintance with Colonel William S. Smith, who introduced him to merchant Samuel G. Ogden (who would later be tried, but acquitted, for helping organize Miranda’s expedition). Miranda then went to Washington for private meetings with President Thomas Jefferson and his Secretary of State James Madison, who met with Miranda but did not involve themselves or their nation in his plans, which would have been a violation of the Proclamation of Neutrality of 1793. Miranda privately began organizing a filibustering expedition to liberate Venezuela.   Miranda hired a ship from Ogden, which he rebaptized the Leander in honor of his oldest son.

On Jan 1, 1806 Burnet received a commission as Second Lieutenant of infantry from    Gen. Francisco de Mirando.  The sons of many noted families of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, including a grandson of President John Adams, were in the expedition. The invading squadron entered the Gulf of Venezuela, accompanied by the British frigate Buchante, whose launch boat was commanded by Lt. Burnet, under whose orders the first gun was fired in behalf of South American liberty. This was in an attack on the fort protecting  Santa Ana de Coro on that gulf. The assailants carried the fort, its occupants retiring to the interior. At Porto Caballo, a number of the invaders were captured ten of whom were slaughtered, some condemned to the mines, and others died. The death of Pitt, Premier of England and patron of Mirando, caused an abandonment of the enterprise and the return of the survivors to New York. In 1808 Mirando renewed the contest and secured a position on the coast. Burnet hastened to him, but he was persuaded by the patriot chief to return home.

In Jacmel, Haiti, Miranda acquired two other ships, the Bee and the Bacchus, and their crews. It is here in Jacmel on March 12, when Miranda made, and raised on the Leander, the first Venezuelan flag, which he had personally designed.  Miranda’s flag is also the inspiration for the flags of Colombia and Ecuador.  Miranda stated that the colors were based on a theory of primary colors given to him by the German writer and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Miranda described a late-night conversation he had with Goethe at a party in Weimar during the winter of 1785. Fascinated with Miranda’s account of his exploits in the United States Revolutionary War and his travels throughout the Americas and Europe, Goethe told him that, “Your destiny is to create in your land a place where primary colors are not distorted.”

First he explained to me the way the iris transforms light into the three primary colors […] then he proved to me why yellow is the most warm, noble and closest to [white] light; why blue is that mix of excitement and serenity, a distance that evokes shadows; and why red is the exaltation of yellow and blue, the synthesis, the vanishing of light into shadow.

It is not that the world is made of yellows, blues and reds; it is that in this manner, as if in an infinite combination of these three colors, we human beings see it. […] A country [Goethe concluded] starts out from a name and a flag, and it then becomes them, just as a man fulfills his destiny.

The yellow band stands for the wealth of the land, the red for courage, and the blue for the independence from Spain, or more succinctly: “golden” America separated from bloody Spain by the deep blue sea.

Flag_of_Venezuela.svgDuring the first half of the 19th century, seven stars were added to the flag to represent the seven signatories to the Venezuelan declaration of independence, being the provinces of CaracasCumanáBarcelonaBarinasMargaritaMérida, and Trujillo.  After the Guayana campaign, Simón Bolívar added an eighth star in representation of the newly freed province, but the eighth star was not officially added until 2006.

On April 28 the small fleet was overtaken by Spanish war ships off the coast of Venezuela. Only the Leander escaped. Sixty men were captured and put on trial, and ten were sentenced to death. The Leander and the expeditionary force regrouped on the British islands of Barbados and Trinidad. The expedition landed at La Vela de Coro on August 3, captured the fort and raised the flag for the first time on Venezuelan soil. Before dawn the next morning the expeditionaries occupied Coro, but found no support from the city residents. Rather than risk a defeat, the small royal force in the city fell back from the city escorting refugees and to await reinforcements. Realizing that he could not hold the city for long, Miranda ordered his force to set sail again on August 13, and he spent the next year in the British Caribbean waiting for reinforcements that never came. On his return to Britain, he was met with better support for his plans from the British government. In 1808 a large military force to attack Venezuela was assembled and placed under the command of Arthur Wellesley, but Napoleon’s invasion of Spain suddenly transformed Spain into an ally of Britain, and the force instead went there to fight in the Peninsular War.

On his return Burnet moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and lived with his two older brothers, Jacob, who later became a U.S. Senator, and Isaac, who later served as mayor of Cincinnati .

In 1817, Burnet moved to Natchitoches, Louisiana and set up a mercantile business and for the next two years traded with the Comanches near the headwaters of the Brazos with John Cotton.  After several months he developed a bloody cough. A doctor diagnosed him with tuberculosis and suggested he move to Texas, then a part of Mexico to recuperate in the dry air.  Later that year, Burnet traveled alone into Texas. A Comanche tribe came to his aid when he fell off of his horse by the Colorado River, and he lived with them for two years until he made a full recovery. Near the end of the year, he met Ben Milam, who had come to the village to trade with the tribe.  [Burnet’s two years with the Comanches may be legendary]

Colorado River Texas

Colorado River Texas

His cough improved, Burnet returned to Cincinnati and studied law.  On leaving them Burnet gave the Indians all his effects in exchange for a number of Mexican women and children held captives by them, all of whom he safely returned to their people, refusing all offers of compensation.

For the seven succeeding years, in Texas, Louisiana and Ohio, he devoted his time to the study and practice of law.  In Cincinnati, Burnet wrote a series of articles for the Literary Gazette detailing his time spent with the Indians.  Burnet practiced law for several years, but returned to Texas after hearing of Stephen F. Austin’s successful colony for Anglos. Burnet settled in San Felipe, the headquarters of Austin’s colony, in 1826. For the next 18 months he provided law advice to the 200 settlers in the town and organized the first Presbyterian Sunday School in Texas. A deeply religious man, Burnet neither drank nor swore and always carried a Bible in his pocket.

Texas Empresario

After a failed venture with Milam, the Western Colonization and Mining Company, in 1827 Burnet traveled with Lorenzo de Zavala and Joseph Vehlein to the Coahuila y Tejas state capitol, Saltillo. The men applied for grants as empresarios under the General Colonization Law of 1824 which he received on December 22 . The grant authorized him to settle 300 families north of the Old Spanish Road and around Nacogdoches, part of the area recently replevined from Haden Edwards, within six years. He was to receive 23,000 acres from the state of Coahuila and Texas for every 100 families settled  The area had already been settled by the Cherokee.  Under the terms of his grant, a married settler could purchase a league of land (4,428 acres) for $200.

Primera Republica Federal 1825

Primera Republica Federal 1825

Burnet spent 1827 in Texas and then returned to Ohio to recruit settlers, but was unable to entice the required number of families. In Oct 1830 , he and refugee Lorenzo de Zavala sold the rights to their colonization contracts   to a group of northeastern investors, the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company  for $12,000 and certificates for four leagues of land from the new company.  Burnet remained in the United States for several years, and on Dec 8, 1830 married Hannah Estey of Morristown, New Jersey. At the time of their wedding he was 43 and she was 30 years old.

Unfortunately, he was not allowed to locate on his four leagues because of the Law of April 6, 1830  designed to stop the flood of immigration from the United States to Texas. He used the money to buy a fifteen-horsepower steam sawmill and move his bride to Texas.

Eager to return to Texas, Burnet and his new wife chartered the the seventy-ton schooner Call and sailed from New York on Mar 4, 1831, bringing with  them the steam engine to operate a saw mill. A storm grounded the ship along Bolivar Point, and, to lighten the load, they were forced to discard all of Hannah’s furniture and her hope chest. The steam engine was the only piece of cargo that was able to be saved.  They arrived in Galveston Bay on April 4.

Burnet bought seventeen acres on the San Jacinto River, from Nathaniel Lynch for the mill and an additional 279 acres east of Lynch facing what came to be known as Burnet’s Bay.  There he built a simple four-room home called Oakland. Between 1831 and 1835

Under Mexican law, Burnet was entitled to an extra land grant because his saw mill provided a needed public service. At that time, however, the law also required settlers to convert to  Catholicism to receive the extra land grant. The devout Burnet refused, angering the Mexican authorities to the point that they cancelled his grant for operating the saw mill.   Burnet petition  for eleven leagues of land because of the mill was denied.  The mill  lost money, for want of people to buy lumber, and he sold it in June 1835 to Dr. Branch T. Archer at a large loss.

The issue of slavery became a source of contention between the Anglo-American  settlers and Spanish governors.  The 1783 census for all of Texas listed a total of 36 slaves. There was intermarriage among blacks, Indians and Europeans. In 1792 there were 34 blacks and 414 mulattos in Spanish Texas, some of whom were free men and women. This was 15 percent of the total 2,992 people living in Spanish Texas

When the United States purchased Louisiana in 1803, Spain declared that any slave who crossed the Sabine River into Texas would be automatically freed. For a time, many slaves ran away to Texas. Free blacks also emigrated to Texas. Most escaped slaves joined friendly American Indian tribes, but others settled in the East Texas forests

In 1821 at the conclusion of the Mexican War of Independence, Texas was included in the new nation  That year, the American Stephen F. Austin was granted permission to bring Anglo settlers into Texas.  Most of the settlers Austin recruited came from the southern slave-owning portions of the United States.  Under Austin’s development scheme, each settler was allowed to purchase an additional 50 acres  of land for each slave he brought to the territory.  At the same time, however, Mexico offered full citizenship to free blacks, including land ownership and other privileges. The province continued to attract free blacks and escaped slaves from the southern United States. Favorable conditions for free blacks continued into the 1830s.

In 1823, Mexico forbade the sale or purchase of slaves, and required that the children of slaves be freed when they reached age fourteen  By 1825, however, a census of Austin’s Colony showed 1,347 Anglo-Americans and 443 people of African descent, including a small number of free Negroes  In 1827, the legislature of Coahuila y Tejas outlawed the introduction of additional slaves and granted freedom at birth to all children born to a slave.

In 1829 Mexico abolished slavery, but it granted an exception until 1830 to Texas. That year Mexico made the importation of slaves illegal.   Anglo-American immigration to the province slowed at this point, with settlers angry about the changing rules. To circumvent the law, numerous Anglo-American colonists converted their slaves to indentured servants, but with life terms. Others simply called their slaves indentured servants without legally changing their status.  Slaveholders trying to enter Mexico would force their slaves to sign contracts claiming that the slaves owed money and would work to pay the debt. The low wages the slave would receive made repayment impossible, and the debt would be inherited, even though no slave would receive wages until age eighteen.  In 1832 the state passed legislation prohibiting worker contracts from lasting more than ten years.

Burnet was chosen as a delegate representing the Liberty neighborhood  to the Convention of 1833 in San Feliple.  He was elected the chairman of a committee which created a petition arguing that the Mexican Congress approve separate statehood for Texas.   Gen. Sam Houston was chairman of the committee which drew the constitution; Burnet wrote the memorial praying for its adoption, and Stephen F. Austin , as commissioner, carried both to Mexico City.  The base imprisonment of Austin and utter refusal to adopt the constitution and allow Texas to have a separate State government from Coahuila were the causes, direct and indirect, of the Texas revolution.

Burnet also authored resolutions denouncing the African slave trade in Texas.  The anti-slave trade resoultions met violent opposition led by Monroe Edwards and others already involved in the trade, but were passed by the Convention.

In 1834 a law was passed establishing a Superior Court in Texas, with a judge, and three districts with a judge each—Bexar, Brazos and Nacogdoches.  Burnet  hoped to become chief justice of the newly established Texas Supreme Court, instead Burnet was appointed judge of the district of Brazos, that is, all of Central Texas.     Instead of his $1,000 per annum allotment, Burnet wanted a handsome stipend in land like that which Chief Justice Thomas J. Chambers received.  He held terms of court until superseded by the revolutionary provisional government in Nov 1835, and was the only person who ever held a court of law in Texas prior to that time.

Shortly after the Convention of 1833 disbanded, Antonio López de Santa Anna became the new president of Mexico. Over the next two years Santa Anna began consolidating his political control over the country by dissolving the Mexican congress, and disbanding state legislatures. In October 1835 Santa Anna declared himself military dictator and marched north to “reassert control over Texas”.

During this time, Burnet had been appointed the first judge of the Austin district and organized a court at San Felipe. From then on he was known as Judge Burnet.   He and other Texians were determined that Texas should be an independent state within Mexico. In November 1835, the Consultation of 1835 was held at San Felipe. At the consultation, Burnet took the lead in forming a provisional state government based on the 1824 Constitution of Mexico, which Santa Anna had already repudiated.

Republic of Texas

Burnet was against independence for Texas in 1835, although he deplored the tendency of the national government toward a dictatorship. Thus his more radical neighbors did not choose him as a delegate to either the Consultation or the Constitutional Convention of 1836,

The Convention was held on Mar 1, 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos.  On hearing of William Barret Travis’s   plea for help at the Alamo, Burnet immediately set out to offer his assistance. He stopped at the convention to try to recruit others to join the fight, but soon became so “inspired by their deliberations” that he remained as a visitor.  Speaking privately with many of the delegates, Burnet professed that he would be willing to serve as president of a new republic, even if that made him a target of Santa Anna.

He attended the session on March 10, where he successfully gained clemency for a client sentenced to hang.

After hearing of the fall of the Alamo, the chairman of the convention, Richard Ellis, wanted to adjourn the convention and begin again in Nacogdoches. Burnet leaped onto a bench and made a speech asking the delegates to stay and finish their business. They did so, and the new constitution was adopted that evening. The front–runners for the presidency of the new country, Austin, Sam Houston, and William H. Wharton were absent from the convention.  Also the delegates, who were opposed to electing one of their number president of the new republic.  The nominees became Burnet and Samuel Price Carson. Burnet won, on a vote of 29–23, in the early hours of March 17, becoming the interim president of the new Republic of Texas. De Zavala was elected vice-president.

David Burnet – Ad- Interim President Mar 16, 1836 – Oct 22, 1836 Courtesy State Preservation Board

Interim presidency

The fame of President Burnet very largely rests upon his administration through those eight months of peril, gloom, disaster and brilliant success. The Alamo had fallen twelve days before. The butchery of James Fannin and his 345 men occurred nine days later. Houston was then retreating before Santa Anna

One of Burnet’s first acts as president was to transfer the capital of the new state from Washington-on-the-Brazos to Harrisburg (today part of Houston), which was located nearer the small Texas Navy at Galveston Island. Harrisburg was also closer to the border with the United States and would allow easier communication with U.S. officials. The move took on a sense of urgency when the convention received word that Santa Anna was within 60 miles of Washington-on-the-Brazos. Burnet quickly adjourned the proceedings and the government fled, inspiring a massive flight known as the Runaway Scrape.  Burnet personally carried the Texas Declaration of Independence in his saddlebags.

Washington to Harrisburg

In the Runaway Scrape, Burnet transferred the government 90 miles from Washington-on-the-Brazos to Harrisburg,

Sam Houston, leading the Texan Army, also decided to strategically retreat from Gonzales after learning of the defeat at the Alamo. On hearing of the government’s flight, “Houston was pained and annoyed”, maintaining it was a cowardly action that caused a great deal of unnecessary panic.  Burnet was infuriated by Houston’s criticism and accused Houston of staging his own retreat because he was afraid to fight. Within several days, Burnet had stationed a spy, Major James H. Perry, on Houston’s staff. In an effort to discredit Houston, Perry initiated a groundless rumor that Houston had begun taking opium.

On March 25, Burnet declared martial law and divided Texas into three military districts. All able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 55 were ordered to report for military duty. Four days later, Burnet issued a proclamation declaring that a man would lose his Texas citizenship and any future claim to land if he left Texas, refused to fight, or helped the Mexican army.

In the hopes of gaining assistance from the United States, Burnet sent Carson, now his secretary of state, to Louisiana to approach General Edmund P. Gaines. Gaines had been given orders by President Andrew Jackson not to cross the Sabine River into Texas.  A small amount of relief did come on April 9, however, with the arrival of the “Twin Sisters,” two six–pound cannons that had been sent as a gift from the people of Cincinnati to show their respect for the Burnet family (at that time Burnet’s brother Isaac was mayor of Cincinnati). Burnet immediately sent the guns to Houston.

Out of safety concerns, the government was moved again on April 13, this time to Galveston.  Two days later, Santa Anna’s army reached Harrisburg, to find a deserted town. On April 17, Burnet received word that the Mexican Army was headed for his location. He and his family crowded into a rowboat immediately, leaving all of their personal effects behind. When they reached 30 yards  offshore, Colonel Juan Almonte and a troop of Mexican cavalry rode into view. Burnet stood up in the rowboat so that the army would focus on him instead of his family. Almonte ordered the troops not to fire, as he had seen Hannah (Estey) Burnet in the boat and did not want to put her in danger.


Peactime challenges included:

  • The disposition to be made of Santa Anna;
  • The maintenance of an army in the field, without money, supplies or resources in a country from which the inhabitants had recently fled and were returning without bread—the condition soon aggravated by men poorly fed and idle in camp;
  • The creation of a navy against Mexican cruisers;
  • Indian ravages on the frontier;
  • The regular organization of the Republic, by elections under and the ratification of the constitution

Burnet did not hear of Houston’s victory at San Jacinto and subsequent capture of Santa Anna until several days after the fact. He hurried to the battlefield, where he complained often about Houston’s use of profanity. Houston’s staff “complained that the president grumbled ungraciously, was hard to please, and spent all of his time giving orders and collecting souvenirs. “The two men also argued over the distribution of $18,000 in specie that had been found in Santa Anna’s treasure chest. Burnet insisted that the money should go to the Texas treasury, but Houston had already given $3,000 to the Texas Navy and distributed the rest among his men.

Santa Anna, in his distrust of civil government, had requested that he be allowed to negotiate a treaty with Houston. His request was rejected, and Burnet took him into custody, first to Galveston Island and then to Velasco (today part of Freeport). On May 14, 1836 the two men signed the Treaties of Velasco. In a public treaty, Santa Anna agreed to immediately cease all hostilities and withdraw his troops south of the Rio Grande. Burnet pledged that Santa Anna would have safe passage home. Secretly, the men also agreed that Santa Anna would “use his influence with the Mexican government to secure the recognition of Texas Independence with its southern boundary as the Rio Grande.” Mexico later repudiated the treaty.

The people of Texas were incensed at the terms of the treaty. The public, along with the Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy, wanted to see Santa Anna executed for his actions.  Despite the criticism, Burnet made arrangements for Santa Anna to travel by boat to Mexico. His ship was delayed for several days by wind, and while it was docked 250 volunteers commanded by Thomas Green arrived. Green demanded that Burnet resign immediately. The ship captain, afraid for his own safety, refused to set sail unless Green approved. With few other options, Burnet ordered Santa Anna brought ashore and imprisoned at Quintana. Many of the Texas army officers threatened to execute Santa Anna and try Burnet for treason.

President Burnet, as well as Houston and even Stephen F. Austin were accused of wrongdoing and even taking and dispensing bribes. Militarism and subversion of civilian authority was a real danger. Rumors abounded that President Burnet would be assassinated and the story goes that on one particular night when an attack was suspected, Mrs. Burnet kept a light burning all night and sat at an open window all night with a loaded pistol. Because of his resistance to militants who at times threatened and even attempted to arrest him and his cabinet, Burnet is credited by some with preventing the rise of militarism and military rule in the new Republic, although it is believed a majority of Texas leaders and the public also opposed such moves.

The majority of Burnet’s time was spent writing proclamations, orders, and letters appealing for funds and volunteers.   As a system of taxation had yet to be implemented, the Texas treasury was empty. There was no money to pay Burnet a salary, and his family soon had trouble paying for their expenses. To make ends meet, they sold a Negro woman and boy.  Filling the treasury would take more effort, and Burnet proposed that they sell land scrip in New York. The bids dropped as low as one cent per acre, so the plan was shelved.

On 12 Jul President Burnet issued a proclamation forbidding the acquisition of private property for military use and revoked all commissions of persons not on active duty in the army or navy. Although popular with the public, this further antagonized the military loyalists. He called for a general election per the Constitution of the Republic. This post-San Jacinto period took its personal toll on Burnet. A child died from exposure due to the primitive living conditions on the coast.

With no money and little respect for Burnet, it was not surprising that “no one followed orders, and the government struggled to direct the state effectively.”  Burnet wished to replace Thomas Rusk as commander of the army, and sent his Secretary of War Mirabeau B. Lamar to take Rusk’s place. Rusk instead proposed that General Felix Huston be named as his replacement. Lamar called a vote of the men in the army, who overwhelmingly voted for Huston, essentially a vote of no confidence in Burnet’s decisions.

His actions angered Sam Houston, the army, the vice president, many cabinet members, and the public, and he left office embittered, intending never to return home, where a number of neighbors had turned against him. He lacked legal clients and was forced to turn to subsistence farming.

Vice Presidency

The first Texas presidential election was held September 5, 1836. Burnet declined to run, and Houston was elected to become the first president. Houston was expected to take office in December. On October 3, Burnet called the first session of the Texas Congress to order in Columbia. Houston arrived at the session on October 9, and the Congress quickly began lobbying Burnet to resign so that Houston could begin his duties. Burnet finally agreed to resign on October 22, the day after de Zavala resigned as Vice-President.

During the transition of power, Burnet’s son Jacob died at Velasco (today part of Freeport). The Burnets returned to their home, which had been looted, leaving them with no furniture or other household articles. To support his family, Burnet practiced law and farmed

Houston’s term as president expired in 1838. Burnet declined offers to run as his replacement, but instead agreed to run as the vice-president for his friend Mirabeau B. Lamar.  Once the election returns were in, Burnet and Houston engaged in a shouting match, with Burnet calling Houston a “‘half-Indian'” and Houston calling Burnet a “‘hog thief'”. Burnet challenged Houston to a duel, but Houston refused, saying “‘the people are equally disgusted with both of us.'” Lamar and Burnet were inaugurated on Dec 10, 1838.

Burnet was an active vice-president. In 1839, he briefly served as acting Secretary of State after Barnard Bee had been sent to Mexico. Burnet served as part of a five-man commission to negotiate with Chief Bowl for the peaceful removal of the Cherokee tribe from their territory to the northwest of Nacogdoches. After a week of negotiations the group was not close to an agreement. On July 15, three regiments of Texas troops attacked the Cherokee at the Battle of Neches. Chief Bowl and 100 Indians were killed; the survivors retreated into Arkansas Territory. Burnet fought in the battle as a volunteer and suffered minor wounds.

In Dec 1841, Burnet became acting president when Lamar took a leave of absence to seek medical treatment in New Orleans for an intestinal disorder.  His first official act, on Dec 16, was to deliver an address to Congress alleging that Mexican armies were preparing to invade Texas. Burnet wanted Congress to declare war on Mexico and attempt to push the Texas southern boundary to the Sierra Madres. His proposal was defeated by supporters of Houston in the legislature.

Presidential candidate

During his time as acting president, Burnet dismissed several of Lamar’s appointees, angering the president. At the conclusion of Lamar’s term, Burnet agreed to run for president.  Lamar and his supporters only reluctantly supported Burnet after they could not entice Rusk to run. Burnet’s primary competition was Houston, and the campaign was dominated by insults and name–calling. Houston questioned Burnet’s honesty, accusing him of taking a $250,000 bribe from Santa Anna and calling him a ‘political brawler’ and a ‘canting hypocrite.’ Houston also accused Burnet of being a drunk. Burnet again challenged Houston to a duel, and, again, Houston refused. Houston won the election, with 7,915 votes to Burnet’s 3,619.

Burnet’s personal flaw was sensitivity to criticism and political enemies to the point that it inhibited his happiness and statesmanship. In contrast to others as Thomas Rusk, Burnet never liked Sam Houston sufficiently to be an amiable partner in development of the Republic and State of Texas although political expediency and common vision caused both to work together positively for the good of the Republic. Political dueling between Burnet and Houston was often vitriolic and apparently resulted in a challenge by Burnet to Houston for a duel with pistols. In the campaign for President in 1841, the Austin Texas Sentinel, supporting Burnet, wrote that Sam Houston would “blaspheme his God, by the most horrible oaths, that ever fell from the lips of man.”

The Houstonian supporting Houston wrote about Burnet“You prate about the faults of other men, while the blot of foul unmitigated treason rests upon you. You political brawler and canting hypocrite, whom the waters of Jordan could never cleanse from your political and moral leprosy.” The latter was supposedly written for the paper by Houston.

Burnet reputedly routinely referred to Houston as a “half-Indian” while Houston often reportedly referred to Burnet as “Wetumpka” meaning a hog thief, which supposedly triggered the challenge by Burnet.  Houston, of course, never accepted the challenge replying in effect that Burnet would have to take his place in line with the others which reportedly at one time or another included Albert Sidney Johnston, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Commodore Edwin W. Moore and possibly Gen. Felix Houston and William and Samuel R. Fisher.

Later Life

After losing the presidential election, Burnet returned to his farm.

Burnet was against annexation to the United States in 1845 but nevertheless applied for the position of United States district judge in 1846. Even with the Whig influence of his brothers, however, he lacked enough political influence. He was named secretary of state by Governor James P. Henderson. in 1846 and served one term. An application to the Whig administration in 1849 for a position as Galveston customs collector also failed.

His feud with Houston continued, and in 1852 Burnet wrote a pamphlet titled “Review of the Life of General Sam Houston” which recounted many rumors and allegations of Houston’s improper behavior. Houston retaliated in February 1859 by giving a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate that disparaged Burnet.

Burnet’s health deteriorated so that he needed help with his farm work. He and his wife purchased an African American slave and his sick wife for $1400. The man robbed them and ran away. Unable to make ends meet on their own, Burnet and his wife rented their 300 acres  to another family in 1857, but continued to live in their house.

Hannah Burnet died on Oct 30, 1858.   After Hannah’s death Burnet had to hire out his slaves and rent his farm in order to have income to pay his room and board in Galveston.  Their only surviving child, William Estey Burnet, took a leave of absence from his military service and helped Burnet move to Galveston, where he lived with an old friend, Sidney Sherman.   Burnet opposed secession, and was saddened when his son joined the Confederate States Army, but later supported his efforts. Col. William Burnet was killed on March 31, 1865 at Spanish Fort, Alabama, leaving Burnet the only surviving member of his family.

He and Lamar intended to publish a history of the republic to expose Sam Houston, and though Burnet furnished Lamar with many articles, Lamar was unable to find a publisher. Burnet burned his manuscript shortly before his death.

In 1865, Sherman’s wife died, and Burnet left his home to live with Preston Perry.  His only other public office was largely symbolic, a reward for an elder statesman. In 1866 the first Reconstruction state legislature appointed Burnet and Oran Roberts United States senators, but upon arrival in Washington they were not seated.   Texas had failed to meet Republican political demands.   Neither man was able to take the Ironclad oath,  Although intellectually opposed to secession, Burnet had embraced the Southern cause when his only son, William, resigned his commission in the United States Army and volunteered for Confederate service.

Burnet’s last public service came in 1868, when he was appointed as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention which nominated Horatio Seymour for president.

In his last years, Burnet suffered from senility, and before his death he carried a trunk of his private papers into an empty lot and burned them all.    He was a Mason and a Presbyterian. He outlived all of his immediate family, died without money in Galveston on Dec 5, 1870, aged 82, and was buried by friends.He was first buried in Magnolia Cemetery, but in 1894 his remains were moved to Galveston’s Lakeview cemetery, where he was buried next to the grave of his friend Sidney Sherman.

7. Alfred Augustus Estey 1

Alfred’s first wife Mary Sears was born 24 Dec 1798 in Rome, Oneida, NY. Her parents were Richard Sears and Mary Ash. Mary died 27 Jul 1832 in Albany, Albany, NY. togehter with 4 of their children from cholera.

Alfred waited eleven years to marry his second wife Sarah M. Kelley in 1843 in Rome, NY. She was born 1824 in Camden, Oneida., New York. Sarah died March 06, 1893 in Constantia, NY.

Alfred enlisted in Company I, the Mohawk Rifles of the 81st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He served from Sep 5 1862 to Feb 24 1865

Occupation: Painter of wood/furniture

8. Mary Estey

Mary’s husband Joseph Chambers Clopper was born 11 Jan 1802 in Chambersburg, Franklin, Pennsylvania. His parents were Nicholas Clopper (1766 – 1841) and Rebecca Chambers Joseph died 7 Jan 1861 in Cincinnati, Ohio

Mary and Joseph had at least two children Helen (b. 1839) and Edward Nicholas (b. 1841)

In the 1850 census, Joseph and Mary were farming in Millcreek, Hamilton, Ohio



Margaret Swett Henson, “BURNET, DAVID GOUVERNEUR,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbu46), accessed March 01, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.



Lewis Mills Genealogy

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Shakespearean Ancestors

This post includes ancestors who were portrayed in Shakespeare’s plays, inspired characters, connected with Shakespeare or with figures in his Histories.

Navigate this Post
1. Shakespeare’s Life
2. The Tempest
3a. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
3b. Antony and Cleopatra
4. Macbeth
5. The Life and Death of King John
6. Henry IV Part 1
7. Henry IV Part 2
8. Henry IV Part 3
9. Richard III
10. Henry VIII – All Is True

Shakespeare’s Life

Edward BROWN (1574 – 1610) and his son  Nicholas BROWN (1601 – 1694) were born in Inkberrow Parish, Worcestershire, England  that is often thought  to be the model for Ambridge, the setting of the long running radio series The Archers. In particular ‘The Bull’, the fictional Ambridge pub, is supposed to be based on a very real pub, the Old Bull, in Inkberrow. It is at this historic public house or wayside inn, a black and white half-timbered building, that William Shakespeare is reputed to have stayed while on his way to Worcester to collect his marriage certificate.

The Tempest

The Tempest,  believed to have been written in 1610–11, is thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone.  (Modern scholars believe Henry VIII to be a collaboration between William Shakespeare and John Fletcher –  see below)

The story of the Sea Venture  shipwreck (and Hopkins’ mutiny) is said to be the inspiration for the play.   Our ancestor Stephen HOPKINS is believed to be the model for the character Stephano.

Peter MONTAGUE’s daughter-in-law  Cecily Reynolds’s second husband Samuel Jordan (wiki) was also shipwrecked on the Sea Venture.

Capt Edmund GREENLEAF’s second wife Sarah  Jordan was the daughter Ignatius Jordan (wiki), a leading Puritan (known at”The Arch-Purtian”) and Member of Parliament.  Sarah’s uncle Silvester Jourdaine was the companion of his townsmen Sir George Somers Sir Thomas Gates and Captain Newport in their voyage to America in 1609 and was wrecked with them at Bermuda. On his return home Silvester Jourdaine published A Discovery of the Barmudas otherwise called the Isle of Divels 1610, a pamphlet from which Shakespeare is supposed to have drawn material for The Tempest.

Stephano Quote

Stephen was the only Mayflower passenger who had previously been to the New World.  His adventures  included surviving a the  Sea Venture’s  1609 shipwreck in Bermuda [including being pardoned for mutiny!] and working from 1610–14 in Jamestown as well as knowing the legendary Pocahontas, who married John Rolfe, a fellow Bermuda castaway.

Stephano in theTempest, here played by Alfred Molina in the 2010 film version

Stephen may be the real life inspiration for Stephano in the Tempest, played in the 2010 film version by Alfred Molina

The shipwreck in Act I, Scene 1, in a 1797 engraving based on a painting by George Romney

The shipwreck in Act I, Scene 1, in a 1797 engraving based on a painting by George Romney

William Strachey‘s A True Reportory of the Wracke and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates, Knight, an eyewitness report of the real-life shipwreck of the Sea Venture in 1609 is considered by most critics to be one of Shakespeare’s primary sources because of certain verbal, plot and thematic similarities.  Although not published until 1625, Strachey’s report, one of several describing the incident, is dated 15 July 1610, and critics say that Shakespeare must have seen it in manuscript sometime during that year.

Strachey was no stranger to the theater people who met regularly at the Mermaid Tavern, so it’s probable that Shakespeare was among those who got a preview of the work.

Several years later, the Virginia Company published a heavily sanitized version of Strachey’s A True Reportory fearing that if the public knew the truth about Jamestown, there would be no more recruits.

In the 19th century Sylvester Jourdain’s pamphlet, A Discovery of The Barmudas (1609), was proposed as that source, but this was superseded in the early 20th century by the proposal that “True Reportory” was Shakespeare’s source because of perceived parallels in language, incident, theme, and imagery.

The Tempest is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio’s low nature, the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso’s son, Ferdinand.

Stephano, Caliban and Trinculo

Stephano, Caliban and Trinculo

Stephano  is a boisterous and often drunk butler of King Alonso.  He, Trinculo and Caliban plot against Prospero. In the play, he wants to take over the island and marry Prospero’s daughter, Miranda. Caliban believes Stephano to be a god because he gave him wine to drink which Caliban believes healed him.

Stephano’s Quotes

The master, the swabber, the boatswain, and I,
The gunner, and his mate,
Lov’d Mall, Meg, and Marian, and Margery,
But none of us car’d for Kate;
For she had a tongue with a tang,
Would cry to a sailor Go hang!
She lov’d not the savour of tar nor of pitch,
Yet a tailor might scratch her where’er she did itch.
Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang!
This is a scurvy tune too; but here’s my comfort. (Drinks)
Act 2: Scene II

Caliban: Hast thou not dropp’d from heaven?
Stephano: Out o’ th’ moon, I do assure thee; I was the Man i’ th’ Moon, when time was.
Caliban: I have seen thee in her, and I do adore thee. My mistress show’d me thee, and thy dog and thy bush.
Act 2: Scene II

Flout ’em and scout ’em, and scout ’em and flout ’em;
Thought is free.
Act 3: Scene II

He that dies pays all debts.
Act 3: Scene II

Hodges writes, “To have provided some of the fabric for Shakespeare’s vision of The Tempest and to appear in the play, even in the absurd disguise as Stephano, this in itself is a kind of immortality for Stephen Hopkins.”

Stephen was fined on 19 May 1608 at the Merdon Manorial Court, however, the reason was not recorded. Stephen’s lease at Hursley’s Merdon Manor was turned over to a “Widow Kent.” The Hopkins family either moved out or was forced out.

Stephen Hopkins’ Real Island Adventure

In 1609 Stephen left his wife and three small children to sign on with the Third Supply, a fleet of nine ships taking 500 settlers and supplies to Jamestown. Having no money to invest, and no rank of any kind, Stephen’s name does not appear on the list of Virginia Company investors. Instead, he is lumped with the anonymous “sailors, soldiers, and servants” on the fleet’s flagship, the Sea Venture.

In his contract with the Virginia Company, Stephen would serve three years as an indentured servant, his labors profiting those who had financed the venture. In exchange, he would receive free transportation, food, lodging, and 10 shillings every three months for his family back home. At the end of three years, he would be freed from his indenture and given 30 acres in the colony.

The coat of arms of Bermuda features a representation of the wreck of the Sea Venture

The coat of arms of Bermuda features a representation of the wreck of the Sea Venture

On Jun  2 1609, the Sea Venture, under the command of Sir George Somers, admiral of the fleet, with Christopher Newport as captain and Sir Thomas Gates, Governor of the colony, departed from Plymouth, England followed by the rest of the Virginia Company’s fleet, the Falcon,DiamondSwallowUnityBlessingLion, and two smaller ships.

Hodges writes,

“For seven weeks the ships stayed within sight of each other, often within earshot, and captains called to one another by way of trumpets. On the Sea Venture all was peaceful. Morning and evening, Chaplain Buck and Clerk Hopkins gathered the passengers and crew on deck for prayers and the singing of a psalm.”

The ships were only eight days from the coast of Virginia, when they were suddenly caught in a hurricane, and the Sea Venture became separated from the rest of the fleet.  The Sea Venture fought the storm for three days. Comparably sized ships had survived such weather, but the Sea Venture had a critical flaw in her newness: her timbers had not set. The caulking was forced from between them, and the ship began to leak rapidly. All hands were applied to bailing, but water continued to rise in the hold. The ship’s guns were reportedly jettisoned (though two were salvaged from the wreck in 1612) to raise her buoyancy, but this only delayed the inevitable.

William Strachey chronicled the Sea Venture’s final days:

“On St. James Day, being Monday, the clouds gathering thick upon us and the wind singing and whistling most unusually, a dreadful storm and hideous began to blow from out the northeast, which, swelling and roaring as it were by fits, at length did beat all night from Heaven; which like a hell of darkness, turned black upon us . . . For four-and-twenty hours the storm in a restless tumult had blown so exceedingly as we could not apprehend in our imaginations any possibility of greater violence; yet did we still find it not only more terrible but more constant, fury added to fury, and one storm urging a second more outrageous than the former . . . It could not be said to rain. The waters like whole rivers did flood in the air. Winds and seas were as mad as fury and rage could make them. Howbeit this was not all. It pleased God to bring greater affliction yet upon us; for in the beginning of the storm we had received likewise a mighty leak.”

Sea Venture in the Storm by William Harrington

Sea Venture in the Storm by William Harrington

The ship had begun to take on water and every man who could be spared went below to plug the leaks and work the pumps. The men worked in waist-deep water for four days and nights, but by Friday morning they were exhausted and gave up.

Another chronicler, Silvester Jourdain, wrote that some of the men,

“having some good and comfortable waters [gin and brandy] in the ship, fetched them and drunk one to the other, taking their last leave one of the other until their more joyful and happy meeting in a more blessed world.”

Then there was a crash and the Sea Venture began to split seam by seam as the water rushed in. Jourdain continues:

“And there neither did our ship sink but, more fortunately in so great a misfortune, fell in between two rocks, where she was fast lodged and locked for further budging; whereby we gained not only sufficient time, with the present help of our boat and skiff, safely to set and convey our men ashore . . . “

The Sea Venture had been thrown upon a reef about a mile from Bermuda, then known as the “Isle of the Devils.” Those who could swim lowered themselves into the waves and grasped wooden boxes, debris, or anything that would keep their heads above water. Stephen made it to shore clutching a barrel of wine. The entire crew, including the ship’s dog, survived.

As it turned out, the Sea Venture did not break apart and the men were able to retrieve the tools, food, clothing, muskets, and everything that meant their survival. Most of the ship’s structure also remained, so using the wreckage and native cedar trees, the 150 castaways immediately set about building two new boats so that they could complete their voyage to Jamestown.

Wreck of the Sea Venture by Christopher Grimes

Wreck of the Sea Venture by Christopher Grimes

The ship’s longboat was fitted with a mast and sent to Virginia for help, but it and its crew were never seen again.

The men were pleasantly surprised to find that the island’s climate was agreeable, food plentiful, and shelters easily constructed from cedar wood and palm leaves. The Isle of the Devils, turned out to be paradise, and a few began to wonder why they should leave.

Strachey recounts that some of the sailors, who had been to Jamestown with the Second Supply, stated that

“in Virginia nothing but wretchedness and labor must be expected, there being neither fish, flesh, or fowl which here at ease and pleasure might be enjoyed.”

The first attempt at mutiny was made by Nicholas Bennit who “made much profession of Scripture” and was described by Strachey as a “mutinous and dissembling Imposter.” Bennit and five other men escaped into the woods, but were captured and banished to one of the distant islands. The banished men soon found that life on the solitary island was not altogether desirable and humbly petitioned for a pardon, which they received. But the clemency of the Governor only encouraged the spirit of mutiny.

William Strachey notes that while Stephen HOPKINS was very religious, he was contentious and defiant of authority and had enough learning to wrest leadership from others. On January 24, while on a break with Samuel Sharpe and Humfrey Reede, Stephen argued:

“. . . it was no breach of honesty, conscience, nor Religion to decline from the obedience of the Governor or refuse to goe any further led by his authority (except it so pleased themselves) since the authority ceased when the wracke was committed, and, with it, they were all then freed from the government of any man . . .[there] were two apparent reasons to stay them even in this place; first, abundance of God’s providence of all manner of good foode; next, some hope in reasonable time, when they might grow weary of the place, to build a small Barke, with the skill and help of the aforesaid Nicholas Bennit, whom they insinuated to them to be of the conspiracy, that so might get cleere from hence at their own pleasures . . . when in Virginia, the first would be assuredly wanting, and they might well feare to be detained in that Countrie by the authority of the Commander thereof, and their whole life to serve the turnes of the Adventurers with their travailes and labors. “

The mutiny was brought to a quick end when Sharpe and Reede reported Stephen to Sir Thomas Gates who immediately put him under guard. That evening, at the tolling of a bell, the entire company assembled and witnessed Stephen’s trial:

“. . . the Prisoner was brought forth in manacles, and both accused, and suffered to make at large, to every particular, his answere; which was onely full of sorrow and teares, pleading simplicity, and deniall. But he being onely found, at this time, both the, Captaine and the follower of this Mutinie, and generally held worthy to satisfie the punishment of his offence, with the sacrifice of his life, our Governour passed the sentence of a Maritiall Court upon him, such as belongs to Mutinie and Rebellion. But so penitent hee was, and made so much moane, alleadging the ruine of his Wife and Children in this his trespasse, as it wrought in the hearts of all the better sorts of the Company, who therefore with humble entreaties, and earnest supplications, went unto our Governor, whom they besought (as likewise did Captaine Newport, and my selfe) and never left him untill we had got his pardon.”

Stephen begged and moaned about the ruin of his wife and children, and was pardoned out of sympathy.  After pleading his way out of a hanging, Stephen continued his duties as Minister’s Clerk and worked quietly with the others to finish the construction of the ships from Bermuda cedar and materials salvaged from the Sea Venture, especially her rigging.

Some members of the expedition died in Bermuda before the Deliverance and the Patienceset sail on 10 May 1610. Among those left buried in Bermuda were the wife and child of John Rolfe, who would found Virginia’s tobacco industry, and find a new wife in Chief Powhatan‘s daughter Matoaka (Pocahontas). Two men, Carter and Waters, were left behind; they had been convicted of unknown offences, and fled into the woods of Bermuda to escape punishment and execution. 

On May 10, 1610, the men boarded the newly built Deliverance and Patience and set out for Virginia. They arrived in Jamestown on May 24, almost a full year after they had left England.

On reaching Jamestown, only 60 survivors were found of the 500 who had preceded them. Many of these survivors were themselves dying, and Jamestown itself was judged to be unviable. Everyone was boarded onto the  Deliverance   and Patience, which set sail for England. The timely arrival of another relief fleet, bearing [our ancestor] Governor Thomas WEST3rd Baron de la Warr, which met the two ships as they descended the James River, granted Jamestown a reprieve. All the settlers were relanded at the colony, but there was still a critical shortage of food. Somers returned to Bermuda with the Patience to secure provisions, but died there in the summer of 1610. His nephew, Matthew, the captain of the Patience, sailed for England to claim his inheritance, rather than return to Jamestown. A third man, Chard, was left behind in Bermuda with Carter and Waters, who remained the only permanent inhabitants until the arrival of the Plough in 1612.

Stephen appears to have been a bit of a rebel on board the Mayflower, a dissenter questioning the authority of the Separatist leaders, just as he had a decade earlier on the Sea Venture.    Stephen was a member of a group of passengers known to the Pilgrims as “The Strangers” since they were not part of the Pilgrims’ religious congregation.  Storms forced the landing to be at the hook of Cape Cod in what is now Massachusetts. This inspired some of the passengers perhaps led by Stephen to proclaim that since the settlement would not be made in the agreed upon Virginia territory, they “would use their own liberty; for none had power to command them…”

To prevent this, many of the other colonists chose to establish a government and sign the Mayflower Compact, a document outlining how their new society would run.    Hopkins was one of forty-one signatories of the Mayflower Compact and was an assistant to the governor of the colony through 1636.

See Stephen HOPKINS‘ page for more of his adventures including the First Encounter and  sleeping in Chief Massasoit‘s bed.

Stephen Hopkins Reenactor

Stephen Hopkins Reenactor at Plimouth Plantation


The Tragedy of Julius Ceasar

Almost everyone with European ancestors is related to everyone else within the last 2000 years. Remember the king was was ruined by his promise to pay 1 grain of rice of the first chessboard square, 2 on the second, 3 on the third …. 2^62 possible ancestors = 4,611,686,018,427,390,000. ( or 4.6 Quintillion) While Genvissa, the daughter of Claudius who married a Silurian king, was invented by Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100 – c. 1155), and this lineage includes Old King Cole, we are all kin. We know these Romans from I Claudius and many other stories. This line has Gaelic Kings of every variety, Welsh, Irish, and Scot and famous cameos including St. Patrick, St. Columba and Macbeth. (See my post Marcus Antonius)

Marlon Brando as Marc Anthony 1955

Marlon Brando as Marc Anthony 1953

62nd G – Marcus Antonius  (14 Jan  83 BC – 1 Aug 30 BC) (Wikipedia), Mark Antony was a friend, and cousin, of Gaius Julius Caesar, although after Caesar’s assassination he stopped praising Caesar. Mark Antony had a falling out with Octavian (Augustus) after the Second Triumvirate split up and he ended up in Egypt.

Geoffrey of Monmouth

Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100 – c. 1155) invented much of the descent from Marcus Antonius to Gaelic Kings

Marc Antony: Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones; So let it be with Caesar.

Marc Antony: This was the noblest Roman of them all. All the conspirators save only he, did what they did in envy of great Caesar. He only, in a general honest thought, and common will for all, made one of them. His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that the nature might stand up and say to all the world, “This was a man.”

Marc Antony: [to Caesar’s dead body] O pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth / That I am meek and gentle with these butchers.

Marc Antony: [repeated several times, about Caesar] Yet Brutus says he was ambitious/ And Brutus is an honorable man.



This is the same genealogy by Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100 – c. 1155) that links us with Marcus Antonius above.  Our immigrant ancestor in this line was 12th G – Major Danyell BROADLEY de West Morton (1589 –  1641)

31st G – MALCOLM II of Alba  (Wikipedia) was born about 954 in Scotland. He died on 25 Nov 1034 in Glammys Castle, Angus, Scotland, killed by his kinsman. He was the last king of the house of MacAlpin. He was buried in Isle of Iona, Scotland.  Malcolm married a daughter of Sigurd , an Irishwoman from Ossory.   They had the following children:

i. Bethoc (Beatrice) , heiress of Scone
ii. Doda Olith of Thora , Princess of Scotland

Malcolm was King of Scotland from 1005 to 1034, the first to rule over an extent of land roughly corresponding to much of modern Scotland.  Malcolm succeeded to the throne after killing his predecessor, Kenneth III, and allegedly secured his territory by defeating a Northumbrian army at the battle of Carham (c. 1016); he not only confirmed the Scotish hold over the land between the rivers Forth and Tweed, but also secured Strathclyde about the same time. Eager to secure the royal succession for his daughter’s son Duncan, he tried to eliminmate possible royal claimants; but MacBeth, with royal connections to both Kenneth II and Kenneth III, survived to challenge the succession.

Malcolm II

Máel Coluim mac Cináeda (Modern Gaelic: Maol Chaluim mac Choinnich, known in modern anglicized regnal lists as Malcolm II; died 25 Nov 1034), was King of the Scots from 1005 until his death.  He was a son of Cináed mac Maíl Coluim; the Prophecy of Berchán says that his mother was a woman of Leinster and refers to him as Máel Coluim Forranach, “the destroyer”.

To the Irish annals which recorded his death, Máel Coluim was ard rí Alban, High King of Scotland. In the same way that Brian Bóruma, High King of Ireland, was not the only king in Ireland, Máel Coluim was one of several kings within the geographical boundaries of modern Scotland: his fellow kings included the king of Strathclyde, who ruled much of the southwest, various Norse-Gael kings of the western coasts and the Hebrides and, nearest and most dangerous rivals, the Kings or Mormaers of Moray. To the south, in the kingdom of England, the Earls of Bernicia and Northumbria, whose predecessors as kings of Northumbria had once ruled most of southern Scotland, still controlled large parts of the southeast.

30th G –  Doda OLITH of Thora was born about 986 in Scotland. She died on 25 Nov 1034. Doda married (1) Findleach MacRory of Moray “Synell” (Wikipedia), Lord of Glammis, Mórmaer of Moray in 1004. Findleach was born about 982 in Scotland. He died in 1004/1005 in Scotland.

They had the following children:

i MacBeth (Maelbeatha) , King of Scotland (Wikipedia) – Mac Bethad mac Findlaích (Modern Gaelic: MacBheatha mac Fhionnlaigh,anglicized as Macbeth, and nicknamed Rí Deircc, “the Red King”; died 15 August 1057) was King of the Scots (also known as the King of Alba, and earlier as King ofMoray and King of Fortriu) from 1040 until his death. He is best known as the subject of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth and the many works it has inspired, although the play presents a highly inaccurate, almost outright fabrication of his reign and personality.

Orson Wells as Macbeth

The Life and Death of King John

Hubert de BURGHAlex’s 25th great grandfather in the Miner line and 11th great grandfather of our immigrant ancestor  Elizabeth LYND  was a character in Shakespeare’s King John.  See my post Henry I of France for all 31 generations to the present day.  This one was especially fun for me because it ends with 11 generations of Miners.

After John captured his nephew Arthur of Brittany, niece Eleanor and their allies in 1202, de Burgh was made their jailor.

There are several accounts of de Burgh’s actions as jailor, including complicity in Arthur’s death and an account that the king ordered de Burgh to blind Arthur, but that de Burgh refused. This account was used by Shakespeare in his play King John. The truth of these accounts has not been verified, however.  For some reason, Shakespeare makes Herbert acitizen of Angers in France and later a follower of King John

Prince Arthur and Hebert from King John

The play begins with King John receiving an ambassador from France, who demands, on pain of war, that he renounce his throne in favor of his nephew, Arthur, whom the French King, Philip, believes to be the rightful heir to the throne.

John adjudicates an inheritance dispute between Robert Falconbridge and his older brother Philip the Bastard, during which it becomes apparent that Philip is the illegitimate son of King Richard I. Queen Eleanor, mother to both Richard and John, recognises the family resemblance and suggests that he renounce his claim to the Falconbridge land in exchange for a knighthood. John knights the Bastard under the name Richard.

After various alliances and accusations, war breaks out;  and Arthur is captured by the English. John orders Hubert to kill Arthur.   Hubert finds himself unable to kill Arthur. John’s nobles urge Arthur’s release. John agrees, but is wrong-footed by Hubert’s announcement that Arthur is dead. The nobles, believing he was murdered, defect to Louis’ side. The Bastard reports that the monasteries are unhappy about John’s attempt to seize their gold. Hubert has a furious argument with John, during which he reveals that Arthur is still alive. John, delighted, sends him to report the news to the nobles.

Arthur dies jumping from a castle wall. (It is open to interpretation whether he deliberately kills himself or just makes a risky escape attempt.) The nobles believe he was murdered by John, and refuse to believe Hubert’s entreaties.

Leaving out details not related to Hubert,  John’s former noblemen swear allegiance to  Philip’s son, Louis.  War breaks out with substantial losses on each side.   Hubert is on hand when John is poisoned by a disgruntled monk and he informs the Bastard. The English nobles swear allegiance to John’s son Prince Henry, and the Bastard reflects that this episode has taught that internal bickering could be as perilous to England’s fortunes as foreign invasion.

Hubert and Arthur from King John. Act IV, Scene I

Hubert and Arthur from King John. Act IV, Scene I

The Life and Death of King John
Act IV. Scene I.
Northampton. A Room in the Castle.

Enter HUBERT and Two Attendants

Hub. Heat me these irons hot; and look thou stand
Within the arras: when I strike my foot
Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth, 5
And bind the boy which you shall find with me
Fast to the chair: be heedful. Hence, and watch.
First Attend. I hope your warrant will bear out the deed.
Hub. Uncleanly scruples! fear not you: look to ’t. [Exeunt Attendants.]
Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you. 10

Arth. Good morrow, Hubert.
Hub. Good morrow, little prince.
Arth. As little prince,—having so great a title
To be more prince,—as may be. You are sad. 15
Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.
Arth. Mercy on me!
Methinks nobody should be sad but I:
Yet I remember, when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night, 20
Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
So I were out of prison and kept sheep,
I should be as merry as the day is long;
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
My uncle practises more harm to me: 25
He is afraid of me, and I of him.
Is it my fault that I was Geffrey’s son?
No, indeed, is ’t not; and I would to heaven
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
Hub. [Aside.] If I talk to him with his innocent prate 30
He will awake my mercy which lies dead:
Therefore I will be sudden and dispatch.
Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to-day:
In sooth, I would you were a little sick,
That I might sit all night and watch with you: 35
I warrant I love you more than you do me.
Hub. [Aside.] His words do take possession of my bosom.
Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.
[Aside.] How now, foolish rheum!
Turning dispiteous torture out of door! 40
I must be brief, lest resolution drop
Out at mine eyes in tender womanish tears.
Can you not read it? is it not fair writ?
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect.
Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes? 45
Hub. Young boy, I must.
Arth. And will you?
Hub. And I will.
Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did but ache,
I knit my handkercher about your brows,— 50
The best I had, a princess wrought it me,—
And I did never ask it you again;
And with my hand at midnight held your head,
And like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheer’d up the heavy time, 55
Saying, ‘What lack you?’ and, ‘Where lies your grief?’
Or, ‘What good love may I perform for you?’
Many a poor man’s son would have lain still,
And ne’er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you at your sick-service had a prince. 60
Nay, you may think my love was crafty love,
And call it cunning: do an if you will.
If heaven be pleas’d that you must use me ill,
Why then you must. Will you put out mine eyes?
These eyes that never did nor never shall 65
So much as frown on you?

Act IV scene i Shakespeare NYC — Arthur [Miriam Lipner] pleads with Hubert. [Joseph Small] Hubert: “Hold you tongue.” Arthur: “Let me not hold my tongue. Let me not, Hubert,/Or Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,/So I may keep my eyes. O spare mine eyes,/Though to no use but still to look on you.” Hubert cannot bear to harm the boy and secretly conveys him to another part of the Tower.

Hub. I have sworn to do it;
And with hot irons must I burn them out.
Arth. Ah! none but in this iron age would do it!
The iron of itself, though heat red-hot, 70
Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears
And quench this fiery indignation
Even in the matter of mine innocence;
Nay, after that, consume away in rust,
But for containing fire to harm mine eye. 75
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer’d iron?
An if an angel should have come to me
And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,
I would not have believ’d him; no tongue but Hubert’s.
Hub. [Stamps.] Come forth. 80

Re-enter Attendants, with cord, irons, &c.
Do as I bid you do.
Arth. O! save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are out
Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here. 85
Arth. Alas! what need you be so boisterous-rough?
I will not struggle; I will stand stone-still.
For heaven’s sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
Nay, hear me, Hubert: drive these men away,
And I will sit as quiet as a lamb; 90
I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word,
Nor look upon the iron angerly.
Thrust but these men away, and I’ll forgive you,
Whatever torment you do put me to.
Hub. Go, stand within: let me alone with him. 95
First Attend. I am best pleas’d to be from such a deed. [Exeunt Attendants.
Arth. Alas! I then have chid away my friend:
He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart.
Let him come back, that his compassion may
Give life to yours. 100
Hub. Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Arth. Is there no remedy?
Hub. None, but to lose your eyes.
Arth. O heaven! that there were but a mote in yours,
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair, 105
Any annoyance in that precious sense;
Then feeling what small things are boisterous there,
Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
Hub. Is this your promise? go to, hold your tongue.
Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues 110
Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes:
Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert:
Or Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,
So I may keep mine eyes: O! spare mine eyes,
Though to no use but still to look on you: 115
Lo! by my troth, the instrument is cold
And would not harm me.
Hub. I can heat it, boy.
Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with grief,
Being create for comfort, to be us’d 120
In undeserv’d extremes: see else yourself;
There is no malice in this burning coal;
The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out
And strew’d repentant ashes on his head.
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy. 125
Arth. An if you do you will but make it blush
And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert:
Nay, it perchance will sparkle in your eyes;
And like a dog that is compell’d to fight,
Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on. 130
All things that you should use to do me wrong
Deny their office: only you do lack
That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends,
Creatures of note for mercy-lacking uses.
Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eyes 135
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes:
Yet am I sworn and I did purpose, boy,
With this same very iron to burn them out.
Arth. O! now you look like Hubert, all this while
You were disguised. 140
Hub. Peace! no more. Adieu.
Your uncle must not know but you are dead;
I’ll fill these dogged spies with false reports:
And, pretty child, sleep doubtless and secure,
That Hubert for the wealth of all the world 145
Will not offend thee.
Arth. O heaven! I thank you, Hubert.
Hub. Silence! no more, go closely in with me:
Much danger do I undergo for thee. [Exeunt.]

Hebert and Arthur  Royal Shakespeare Company Collection

Hebert and Arthur Royal Shakespeare Company Collection

Back to the Real Hubert de Burgh

Hubert de BURGH, 1st Earl of Kent (c. 1160 – before 5 May 1243) was  Justiciar of England and Ireland, and one of the most influential men in England during the reigns of John and Henry III.

Hubert de Burgh

De Burgh was born into a modest, minor landowning family from East Anglia and, therefore, had to work twice as hard to make a name for himself as opposed to his counterparts in the nobility.  He was the son of Walter de Burgh of Burgh Castle, Norfolk.    Hubert seems to have been a staunch supporter of John, youngest son of King Henry II, even before he became king, acting as chamberlain of the prince’s household. When John succeeded his brother, Richard I, to the throne in 1199, Hubert was upgraded to royal chamberlain, a position that involved being constantly within the presence of the king. Therefore, it is no surprise that his influence rapidly grew.

In his early adulthood Hubert vowed to rescue the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the holy land, so he set off for Jerusalem on the Third Crusade. Hubert is one of the possible de Burgh’s that received the coat of arms, it is said that Richard I dipped his finger in the blood of a slain Saracen king, put a red cross on the gold shield of de Burgh, and said “for your bravery this will be your crest”, and it is also said that he uttered the words “a cruce salus” which became the family motto.

In the early years of John’s reign de Burgh was greatly enriched by royal favour. While John was away in France pressing his claim to his territories there, Hubert was left in charge of the Welsh marches and was given several other important posts.  He received the honour of Corfe in 1199 and three important castles in the Welsh Marches in 1201 (Grosmont CastleSkenfrith Castle, and Llantilio Castle). He was also High Sheriff of Dorset and Somerset (1200), Berkshire (1202) and Herefordshire (1215), and castellan of Launceston and Wallingford castles.  He was also appointed Constable of Dover Castle, and also given charge of Falaise, in Normandy. He is cited as having been appointed a Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports  by 1215.

After John captured his nephew Arthur of Brittany, niece Eleanor and their allies in 1202, de Burgh was made their jailor.

There are several accounts of de Burgh’s actions as jailor, including complicity in Arthur’s death and an account that the king ordered de Burgh to blind Arthur, but that de Burgh refused.

In any case de Burgh retained the king’s trust, and in 1203 Hubert had departed to France to aid with the wars and would remain there for several years..  He was given charge of the great castles at Falaise in Normandy and Chinon, in Touraine. The latter was a key to the defence of the Loire valley. After the fall of Falaise de Burgh held out while the rest of the English possessions fell to the French. Chinon was besieged for a year, and finally fell in June, 1205, Hubert being badly wounded while trying to evade capture.

During Hubert’s two years of captivity, his influence waned within England and many of his lands and positions were either given away or absorbed by the crown. Finally, in 1207, King John ransomed Hubert and quickly returned him to royal favor, helping him reacquire most of what he had lost during his captivity.   he acquired new and different lands and offices. These included the castles of Lafford and Sleaford, and the shrievalty of Lincolnshire (1209–1214). Probably, however, de Burgh spent most of his time in the English holdings in France, where he was seneschal of Poitou.

Over the following years, Hubert would continue to build his wealth, power and influence, acting as a sheriff and gaining experience as a justiciar, a task he would be remembered for. It is believed that Hubert remained completely loyal to John when the magnates rebelled and forced him to sign the Magna Carta in 1215..

The Magna Carta mentions him as one of those who advised the king to sign the charter, and he was one of the twenty-five sureties of its execution. John named him Chief Justiciar in June 1215.  and appointed him High Sheriff of Surrey (1215), High Sheriff of Herefordshire (1215), High Sheriff of Kent (1216–1222), and Governor of Canterbury Castle. Soon afterwards he was appointed Governor of the castles of Hereford, Norwich and Oxford.

De Burgh played a prominent role in the defence of England from the invasion of Louis of France, the son of Philippe II who later became Louis VIII. Louis’ first objective was to take Dover Castle, which was in de Burgh’s charge. The castle withstood a lengthy siege in the summer and autumn of 1216, and Louis withdrew. The next summer Louis could not continue without reinforcements from France. De Burgh gathered a small fleet which defeated a larger French force at the Battle of Dover and Battle of Sandwich, and ultimately led to the complete withdrawal of the French from England.

During the new minority regime, Hubert no doubt possessed a great amount of influence as justiciar, but with men such as William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke (regent to the underage king Henry III); the papal legate Pandulf; and Peter des Roches, bishop of Winchester, in the mix, de Burgh was most certainly kept in check. However, the aged Pembroke died (1219); Pandulf left for Rome (1221); and des Roches left for an extended crusade (1223).

These departures left de Burgh as the undisputed top man in Henry’s government and in effect, the acting regent.  During the next eight years or so, de Burgh acted as justiciar, military commander (taking part in the Welsh expeditions, with mixed results) and played a role in the keeping of the royal exchequer. He was appointed High Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk (1216–1225) and High Sheriff of Kent (1223–1226). De burgh accumulated much wealth as a result and was rewarded for his services even further by being created Earl of Kent (1227).

When Henry III came of age in 1227 de Burgh was made lord of Montgomery Castle in the Welsh Marches and Earl of Kent. He remained one of the most influential people at court. On 27 April 1228 he was named Justiciar for life.

Unfortunately, De Burgh’s success would be fairly short-lived. Bishop Des Roches returned to England (1231) and joined forces with his nephew Peter de Rivallis in an effort to bring down the justiciar, accusing him of a number of crimes, including appointing Italians to English posts. The king, at first, defended De Burgh, but soon enough, Hubert was stripped of his offices and most of his lands and forced to take sanctuary in various cathedrals.

Hubert de Burgh Taken From Sanctuary at Boisars

In 1233, De Burgh was forced to beg the king’s mercy, which he was given, and was restored to some of his lands. The following year, he was officially pardoned, but his days of power were clearly at an end. Hubert’s rivals made several more attempts to completely eliminate the justiciar, but De Burgh was able to live out the rest of his life quietly, dying in 1243 at the age of 82 or 83 in Banstead, Surrey, England and was buried at the church of the Black Friars in Holborn.

Over his long life, De Burgh had demonstrated the powers of royal favor and how they could make or break a man. In the end, though able to live out his life peacefully, Hubert remained broken.

Henry IV Part 1

Alex’s 14th Great Grandfather and Francis MARBURY’s great grandfather William MARBURY, of Lowick, Northampton, esquire, was born ca 1445-53. That he was a man of considerable social standing and prestige in Northampton county is indicated by the fact that he is first mentioned in 1473 as an executor of the will of John Stafford,1st  Earl of Wiltshire,  the youngest son of Humphrey Stafford, the powerful 1st Duke of Buckingham.

William Marbury married about this time into the prominent family of Blount. His wife Anne BLOUNT, daughter of Sir Thomas BLOUNT and Agnes HAWLEY, was niece of Sir Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy, K.G., who in 1467 had married Anne Neville, the widow of Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. The character of Westmorland in William Shakespeare’s plays Henry IV, Part 1Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V is based on Anne’s father Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland.

Henry IV Party 1

In the opening scene of Henry IV, Part 1, Westmorland is presented historically as an ally of King Henry IV against the Percys, and in the final scenes of the play as being dispatched to the north of England by the King after the Battle of Shrewsbury to intercept the Earl of Northumberland.

In Act IV of Henry IV, Part 2, Westmorland is portrayed historically as having been principally responsible for quelling the Percy rebellion in 1405 by Archbishop Scrope almost without bloodshed by successfully parleying with the rebels on 29 May 1405 at Shipton Moor.

However in Henry V Westmorland is unhistorically alleged to have resisted the arguments made in favour of war with France by Archbishop Chichele in the Parliament which began at Leicester on 30 April 1414.

Henry IV Part 2

Sir Henry BOYNTON of Acklam, William BOYNTON‘s 7th great grandfather,  was beheaded on 2 Jul 1405 in Berwick-on-Tweed-Castle, Yorkshire, England.   He had joined the Northern Rebellion, an insurrection led by the Henry Percy, Earl of NorthumberlandThomas Mowbray, and Richard le Scrope Archbishop of York. against Henry IV  portrayed in Henry IV Part 2.

Sir Henry  was young and unexperianced, probably in his late twenties, when he succeeded his grandfather Sir Thomas in 1402 and inherited the Boynton family fortune.  He was suspected to be in the interest of Henry (Percy) Earl of Northumberland and his son Henry Hotspur, who had taken arms against the King, Henry IV, for in the fourth year of his reign, when the battle of Shrewsbury (Jul 21 1403) was fought. (See Henry IV Part 1 where  Hotspur was slain)

John Wockerington, Gerald Heron and John Mitford were commissioned to tender an oath to this Henry de Boynton and others,  to be true to the King and renounce Henry, Earl of Northumberland and his adherents

Yet two years after the Percys defeat  at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403,   Sir Henry was involved in the Northern Rising against Henry IV.

In 1405 Northumberland, joined by Lord Bardolf, again took up arms against the King. The rising was doomed from the start due to Northumberland’s failure to capture Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland. Scrope, together with Thomas de Mowbray, 4th Earl of Norfolk, and Scrope’s nephew, Sir William Plumpton, had assembled a force of some 8000 men on Shipton Moor on 27 May, but instead of giving battle Scrope parleyed with Westmorland, and was tricked into believing that his demands would be accepted and his personal safety guaranteed.  (For Shakespeare’s take on this meeting in Henry IV Part 2 Act IV Scenes i-iii, see my post   Shakespearean Ancestors.)

Henry IV Part 2 Act IV Scene 3

Henry IV Part 2 Act IV Scene 3

Once their army had disbanded on 29 May, Scrope and Mowbray were arrested and taken to Pontefract Castle to await the King, who arrived at York on 3 June. The King denied them trial by their peers, and a commission headed by the Earl of Arundel and Sir Thomas Beaufort sat in judgment on Scrope, Mowbray and Plumpton in Scrope’s own hall at his manor of Bishopthorpe, some three miles south of York.

The Chief Justice, Sir William Gascoigne, refused to participate in such irregular proceedings and to pronounce judgment on a prelate, and it was thus left to the lawyer Sir William Fulthorpe to condemn Scrope to death for treason. Scrope, Mowbray and Plumpton were taken to a field belonging to the nunnery of Clementhorpe which lay just under the walls of York, and before a great crowd were beheaded on 8 June 1405, Scrope requesting the headsman to deal him five blows in remembrance of the five wounds of Christ.

Although Scrope’s participation in the Percy rebellion of 1405 is usually attributed to his opposition to the King’s proposal to temporarily confiscate the clergy’s landed wealth, his motive for taking an active military role in the rising continues to puzzle historians.

Pope Innocent VII excommunicated all those involved in Scrope’s execution. However Archbishop Arundel failed to publish the Pope’s decree in England, and in 1407 Henry IV was pardoned by Pope Gregory XII

Reconstruction of Berwick Castle

Reconstruction of Berwick Castle

Meanwhile Sir Henry fled to Berwick  Castle.  Henry de Boynton was  beheaded on 2 Jul 1405 along with six other knights who were captured when the castle at Berwick upon Tweed was taken. Henry Percy escaped into Scotland.

Ruins of Berwick Castle Today

Ruins of Berwick Castle Today

A mandate was issued to the Mayor of Newcastle-on-Tyne to receive the head of Henry Boynton, “chivaler,” [Archaic. a knight.] and to place it on the bridge of the town to stay there as long as it would last, but within a month another mandate* was issued to the Mayor to take down the head, where it was lately placed by the King’s command, and to deliver it to Sir Henry’s wife for burial.

Tyne bridge, Newcastle-Gateshead Today

Tyne bridge, Newcastle-Gateshead Today  — Not the one where Sir Henry’s head was placed

After the insurrection had been crushed Henry IV inserted into the record of Parliament the perfidy of Henry Percy. Among the indictments was the claim that Henry Percy had appointed Henry Boynton to negotiate for him with the kings of Scotland and France. Whether he engaged in negotiations or was only appointed to engage in negotiations is not clear from the text. But it suggests a close — if surreptitious — working relationship. A relationship that cost Henry Boynton his head.

Sir Henry’s property, the manor of Acklam in Cleveland, with all members being forfeited and in the King’s hands, was granted to Roger de Thornton, Mayor of Newcastle-on-Tyne but in the following August a grant was made for life to Elizabeth, late the wife of Henry Boynton, who had not wherewithal to maintain herself and six children or to pay her late husband’s debts, of the towns of Roxby and Newton, late the said Henry’s and forfeited to the King, on account of his rebellion, to hold to the value of £20 yearly, and there was granted to her also all his goods, likewise forfeited, to the value of £20, and she must answer for any surplus.

The king did provide for Henry’s mother and wife by setting aside some of the Boynton land to maintain them, but that land returned to the king when they died. Henry’s   second son William petitioned the king in 1424 for the return of the family land, and it was returned by 1427.   For more on the Boyntons, including William’s petitions, see his 7th great grandson’s page William BOYNTON (1580 – 1615) father of two American immigrants William and John.

The Percy Rebellion (1402–1408) was three attempts by the Percy family and their allies to overthrow Henry IV:

  • Battle of Shrewsbury (1403). King Henry IV defeated a rebel army led by Henry Hotspur Percy who had allied with the Welsh rebel Owain Glyndŵr. Percy was killed in the battle by an arrow in his face. [In hand to hand combat with Prince Hall in Henry IV Part I]. Thomas Percy, 1st Earl of Worcester, Sir Richard Venables and Sir Richard Vernon were publicly hanged, drawn and quartered in Shrewsbury on 23 July and their heads publicly displayed. The Earl of Northumberland flees to Scotland.
  • Archbishop of York Richard le Scrope lead a failed rebellion in northern England (1405). Scrope and other rebel leaders including  Sir Henry BOYNTON are executed. The Earl of Northumberland again flees to Scotland.
  • Battle of Bramham Moor (1408). The Earl of Northumberland invades Northern England with Scottish and Northumbrian allies but is defeated and killed in battle.


Henry IV Part 2 Act IV, Scenes i-iii

In Gaultree Forest in Yorkshire, the leaders of the rebel army–the Archbishop of York, Mowbray, and Hastings–have arrived with their army. The Archbishop tells his allies he has received a letter from Northumberland in which he says he will not be coming to their aid.

A soldier, returning to the camp from a scouting mission, reports that King Henry IV’s approaching army is now barely a mile away. The army is being led by Prince John, the king’s younger son; the king, who is sick, is still at Westminster. The scout is immediately followed by the Earl of Westmoreland, an ally of King Henry who has been sent as a messenger. Westmoreland accuses the Archbishop of improperly using his religious authority to support rebellion; the Archbishop replies that he did not want to, but he felt he had no choice, since King Henry was leading the country into ruin and the rebels could not get their complaints addressed. Westmoreland tells the rebels that Prince John has been given full authority to act in the king’s name and is willing to grant their demands if they seem reasonable. The Archbishop gives Westmoreland a list of the rebels’ demands, and Westmoreland leaves to show it to Prince John.

While the rebels wait for Westmoreland to return, Mowbray voices his fear that, even if they do make peace, the royal family will only be waiting for an opportunity to have them killed. However, Hastings and the Archbishop are sure that his fears are groundless.

Westmoreland returns and brings the rebels back with him to the royal camp to speak with Prince John. The prince says that he has looked over the demands and that they seem reasonable; he will grant all the rebels’ requests. If they agree, he says, they should discharge their army and let the soldiers go home.

Very pleased, the rebel leaders send messengers to tell their soldiers that they can go home. They and Prince John drink together and make small talk about the upcoming peace. However, as soon as word comes from the rebels’ messengers that their army has been scattered, Prince John gives an order to arrest Hastings, Mowbray, and the Archbishop as traitors. When they ask how he can be so dishonorable, Prince John answers that he is not breaking his word: he promised to address their complaints, and he will. However, he never promised not to kill the rebels themselves. He then gives orders for the rebels to be taken away and executed.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the forest, one of the departing rebels–Sir John Coleville of the Dale–runs into Falstaff, who has finally made it to the field of battle. Recognizing Falstaff, Coleville surrenders to him. (Most people are now afraid of Falstaff because they falsely believe that he killed the famous rebel Hotspur at the Battle of Shrewsbury.) Prince John enters the scene and Falstaff presents his captive to him. Westmoreland appears to tell the Prince that the army is withdrawing; Prince John sends Coleville off with the other rebels to execution, and he announces he will return to the court in London because he hears his father is very sick. Falstaff heads off to Gloucestershire in order to beg some money from Justice Shallow.

Prince John’s behavior in these scenes is, at best, underhanded and, at worst, tremendously dishonorable. He effectively lies to the rebels, telling Mowbray, Hastings and the Archbishop that he will concede to their demands, and then he reneges on his promise as soon as they have trustingly sent away their troops. The technicality that he uses to justify his action–the fact that he promised to address the rebels’ complaints, not to ensure their safety–seems morally questionable. Prince John seems to go out of his way to convince the rebels that he means them no harm, repeatedly saying things like “Let’s drink together friendly and embrace / That all their eyes may bear the tokens home / Of our restored love and amity” (63-65). That Hastings, Mowbray, and the Archbishop would have taken this as a promise of forgiveness seems obvious.

Henry IV Part 2 Act IV Scene 3

Henry IV Part 2 Act IV Scene 3

Prince John comes across as a much more treacherous character than any of the rebels over whom he claims moral authority. However, if we begin by assuming, as many during the Middle Ages did, that the king and the royal family are always right and have the authority of God himself behind them, then anyone who rises against them is clearly in the wrong. The royal family, thus, has the right to defeat them by any means necessary.

This line of thinking is related to the idea of the “divine right” of kings. It is an idea with obvious political value for rulers and one that was popular in the Middle Ages; the Renaissance was just beginning to question this assumption. It is obvious that at least some of King Henry’s followers subscribe to this idea. When the Archbishop challenges Prince John’s duplicity by asking, “Is this proceeding just and honorable?” Westmoreland replies by asking, “Is your assembly so?” This is the only answer that either he or John makes to the rebels’ accusations that Prince John has broken his oath. Answering the questions only with another question, Westmoreland implies that Prince John’s behavior is not wrong because it has corrected a previous wrong (i.e., “two wrongs make a right”).

This concept of honor may be good enough for Prince John, and it may have been what some of Shakespeare’s audience–including his ruler, Queen Elizabeth–wanted to hear. Shakespeare, however, seems to have been ambivalent about it; he has Falstaff voice his reservations about Prince John’s behavior in his closing speech in IV.iii. In typical Falstaff style, he goes off into a very long, complex, and witty speech about a seemingly trivial topic–this time, wine–and expands it into a discussion of abstract truths that apply to the situation at hand.

In praising the virtue wine has in making men witty, Falstaff brings forth the virtues of a value system different from that of the king and his followers. He criticizes Prince John, in a somewhat worried tone, wishing that Prince John had “wit,” for it would be “better than your dukedom. Good faith,” he goes on, “this same sober-blooded boy doth not love me, not a man cannot make him laugh… There’s never none of these demure boys come to any proof… They are generally fools and cowards” (84-93). Falstaff humorously blames Prince John’s defects on his refusal to drink wine, but he also makes a valid criticism of Prince John’s frightening lack of a sense of humor and strange version of “honor,” which seems to be utterly lacking in human compassion. Falstaff knows, too, where Prince John got these bad qualities: from the leader of the state himself, King Henry IV. Even Prince Hal, he adds, is only valiant because “the cold blood he inherited of his father he hath… tilled, with excellent endeavor of drinking”

Henry VI Part 3

Everard “Greenleaf” DIGBY  died 29 Mar 1461 at the Battle of Towton, West Riding, Yorkshire, England.

He was killed, together with his three brothers, fighting for the house of Lancaster.  His seven sons including Everard DIGBY Esq. fought for Henry VII at the battle of Bosworth Field 22 August 1485.  This time, the Digbys were on the winning side.

The Battle of Towton was fought during the English Wars of the Roses on 29 March 1461, near the village of the same name in Yorkshire. It was the “largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil”.  According to chroniclers, more than 50,000 soldiers from the Houses of York and Lancaster fought for hours amidst a snowstorm on that day, which was a Palm Sunday. A newsletter circulated a week after the battle reported that 28,000 died on the battlefield. The engagement brought about a monarchical change in England—Edward IV displaced Henry VI as King of England, driving the head of the Lancastrians and his key supporters out of the country.

The Battle of Towson by Richard Caton Woodville (1856–1927)

Henry was weak in character and mentally unsound. His ineffectual rule had encouraged the nobles’ schemes to establish control over him, and the situation deteriorated into a civil war between the supporters of his house and those of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York. After the Yorkists captured Henry in 1460, the English parliament passed an Act of Accord to let York and his line succeed Henry as king. Henry’s consort, Margaret of Anjou, refused to accept the dispossession of her son’s right to the throne and, along with fellow Lancastrian malcontents, raised an army. Richard of York was killed at the Battle of Wakefield and his titles, including the claim to the throne, passed to his eldest son Edward. Nobles, who were previously hesitant to support Richard’s claim to the throne, regarded the Lancastrians to have reneged on the Act—a legal agreement—and Edward found enough backing to denounce Henry and declare himself king. The Battle of Towton was to affirm the victor’s right to rule over England through force of arms.

On reaching the battlefield, the Yorkists found themselves heavily outnumbered. Part of their force under John de Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, had yet to arrive. The Yorkist leader Lord Fauconberg turned the tables by ordering his archers to take advantage of the strong wind to outrange their enemies. The one-sided missile exchange—Lancastrian arrows fell short of the Yorkist ranks—provoked the Lancastrians into abandoning their defensive positions. The ensuing hand-to-hand combat lasted hours, exhausting the combatants. The arrival of Norfolk’s men reinvigorated the Yorkists and, encouraged by Edward, they routed their foes. Many Lancastrians were killed while fleeing; some trampled each other and others drowned in the rivers. Several who were taken as prisoners were executed.

The power of the House of Lancaster was severely reduced after this battle. Henry fled the country, and many of his most powerful followers were dead or in exile after the engagement, letting Edward rule England uninterrupted for nine years, before a brief restoration of Henry to the throne. Later generations remembered the battle as depicted in William Shakespeare‘s dramatic adaptation of Henry’s life—Henry VI, Part 3, Act 2, Scene 5.

In the play the Yorkists regroup, and at the Battle of Towton, Clifford is killed and the Yorkists romp to victory. Following the battle, Edward is proclaimed king, George is proclaimed Duke of Clarence and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, although he complains to Edward that this is an ominous dukedom. Edward and George then leave the court, and Richard reveals to the audience his own machinations to rise to power and take the throne from his brother, although, as yet, he is unsure how exactly he might go about it.

Whereas 1 Henry VI deals with loss of England’s French territories and the political machinations leading up to the Wars of the Roses, and 2 Henry VI focuses on the King’s inability to quell the bickering of his nobles, and the inevitability of armed conflict, 3 Henry VI deals primarily with the horrors of that conflict, with the once ordered nation thrown into chaos and barbarism as families break down and moral codes are subverted in the pursuit of revenge and power.

Henry VI, Part 3  has more battle scenes (four on stage, one reported) than any other of Shakespeare’s plays. Critics have cited the amount of violence as indicative of Shakespeare’s artistic immaturity and inability to handle his chronicle sources, especially when compared to the more nuanced and far less violent second historical tetralogy (Richard II1 Henry IV2 Henry IV and Henry V).  Writing in 1605, Ben Jonson commented in The Masque of Blackness that showing battles on stage was only “for the vulgar, who are better delighted with that which pleaseth the eye, than contenteth the ear.”

Recent scholarship has tended to look at the play as being a more complete dramatic text, rather than a series of battle scenes loosely strung together with a flimsy narrative.  Some critics now argue that the play “juxtaposes the stirring aesthetic appeal of martial action with discursive reflection on the political causes and social consequences.”


Richard III

Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, in  North Yorkshire, was built by Robert FITZRANDOLPH, 3rd Lord of Middleham and Spennithorne, commencing in 1190.   Robert’s granddaughter  Mary (aka Mary Tailboys) was the heiress of Middleham.  When she married  Robert Neville  ( ~1240 – 1271), the castle passed to to the Neville family.  The House of Neville became one of the two major powers in northern England along with the House of Percy and played a central role in the Wars of the Roses.

Middleham was built near the site of an earlier motte and bailey castle.  Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, known to history as the “Kingmaker” and a leading figure in the Wars of the Roses was master of the castle.

For the Fitz Randolph lineage back to  RICHARD I Duke of Normandy  and  the generations of the House of Neville   – From Mary Fitz Randolf to Edward IV and Richard III , see Edward FITZ RANDOLPH Sr.‘s page.  Our immigrant ancestor was Edward FITZ RANDOLPH

On another family note,  Captain Mark HILTON was Edward IV‘s second great grandson

Middleham Castle

Middleham Castle is an impressive ruin, and the sense of its original strength and grandeur remains.

Following the death of Richard, Duke of York at Wakefield in December 1460, his younger sons, George, Duke of Clarence and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, came into Warwick’s care, and both lived at Middleham with Warwick’s own family. Their brother King Edward IV was imprisoned at Middleham for a short time, having been captured by Warwick in 1469. Following Warwick’s death at Barnet in 1471 and Edward’s restoration to the throne, his brother Richard married Anne Neville, Warwick’s younger daughter, and made Middleham his main home. Their son Edward was also born at Middleham and later also died there.

Richard ascended to the throne as King Richard III, but spent little or no time at Middleham in his two-year reign.

Henry VIII – All Is True

The play implies, without stating it directly, that the treason charges against the Duke of Buckingham were false and trumped up; and it maintains a comparable ambiguity about other sensitive issues.

Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham was a key character in Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, losing his head in Act II and was also Anthony PAYNE’s boss when Payne was bailiff of Hengrave Manor.

Modern scholars believe the play to be a collaboration between William Shakespeare and John Fletcher.  The most common delineation of the two poets’ shares in the play is:

  • Shakespeare: Act I, scenes i and ii; II,iii and iv; III,ii, lines 1–203 (to exit of King); V,i
  • Fletcher: Prologue; I,iii; II,i and ii; III,i, and ii, 203–458 (after exit of King); IV,i and ii; V ii–v; Epilogue.

Shakespeare was well into retirement – we think he retired around 1611 – and this was written in 1613. It’s most likely his last play, but we don’t know.  Some say the scenes that are written by Fletcher are creaky. You can see in some scenes it doesn’t have that Shakespearean touch that we are used to.  Henry VIII nevertheless has a reputation for visual spectacle.

Henry VIII is believed to have been first performed as part of the ceremonies celebrating the marriage of Princess Elizabeth in 1612–1613, although the first recorded performance was on 29 Jun 1613 at the Globe Theatre.  During that performance, a cannon shot employed for special effects ignited the theatre’s thatched roof (and the beams), burning the original building to the ground.

Fifteen years to the day after the fire, on 29 Jun 1628, The King’s Men performed the play again at the Globe. The performance was witnessed by James I’s protege and possible lover,  George Villiers, the contemporary Duke of Buckingham, who left halfway through once the play’s Duke of Buckingham was executed. A month later, Villiers was assassinated.

Gregory Jon Phelps as Buckingham in Henry VIII. in 2013 American Shakespeare Company production

Gregory Jon Phelps as Buckingham in Henry VIII. in 2013 American Shakespeare Center production

BUCKINGHAM: Nay, Sir Nicholas,
Let it alone; my state now will but mock me.
When I came hither I was Lord High Constable
And Duke of Buckingham; now poor Edward Bohun.
Yet I am richer than my base accusers,
That never knew what truth meant: I now seal it;
And with that blood will make ’em one day groan for’t.
My noble father, Henry of Buckingham,
Who first raised head against usurping Richard,
Flying for succor to his servant Banister,
Being distressed, was by that wretch betrayed,
And without trial fell; God’s peace be with him!
Henry the Seventh succeeding, truly pitying
My father’s loss, like a most royal prince
Restored me to my honors; and out of ruins
Made my name once more noble. Now his son,
Henry the Eighth, life, honor, name, and all
That made me happy, at one stroke has taken
For ever from the world. I had my trial,
And must needs say a noble one; which makes me
A little happier than my wretched father.
Yet thus far we are one in fortunes: both
Fell by our servants, by those men we loved most–
A most unnatural and faithless service.
Heaven has an end in all; yet you that hear me,
This from a dying man receive as certain:
Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels
Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends
And give your hearts to, when they once perceive
The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
Like water from ye, never found again
But where they mean to sink ye. All good people,
Pray for me! I must now forsake ye; the last hour
Of my long weary life is come upon me.

Steven Waddington as Duke of Buckingham in Showtime's "The Tudors"  Not Shakespeare, but lots of fun

Steven Waddington as Duke of Buckingham in Showtime’s “The Tudors.”   Not Shakespeare or historically accurate, but lots of fun

Our ancestor William PAYNE Sr.  was Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham‘s bailiff at the Manor of Hengrave.  Under the manorial system a bailiff of the manor represented the peasants to the lord, oversaw the lands and buildings of the manor, collected fines and rents, and managed the profits and expenses of the manor and farm.  Bailiffs were outsiders and free men, that is, not from the village. Borough bailiffs would be in charge of the villagers in the town.

William removed from Leicestershire to Suffolk and took up his residence at Hengrave. Carrying with him the use of his grandfather’s Coat of Arms, this came thence forth, in heraldic history to be known as the “Coat and Crest of Leicestershire, and Suffolk, ” and is especially known as belonging to “Payne of Hengrave.”

Buckingham was in attendance at court at the creation of Henry VII’s second son, the future King Henry VIII, as Duke of York on 9 November 1494, and was made a Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1495. In September 1497 he was a captain in the forces sent to quell a rebellion in Cornwall.

According to Davies, as a young man Buckingham played a conspicuous part in royal weddings and the reception of ambassadors and foreign princes, ‘dazzling observers by his sartorial splendour’. At the wedding of Henry VII’s then eldest son and heir Arthur, Prince of Wales, and Catherine of Aragon in 1501, he is said to have worn a gown worth £1500. He was the chief challenger at thetournament held the following day.

At the accession of King Henry VIII, Buckingham was appointed on 23 June 1509, for the day of the coronation only, Lord High Constable, an office which he claimed by hereditary right. He also served as Lord High Steward at the coronation, and bearer of the crown. In 1509 he was made a member of the King’s Privy Council.

According to Davies, in general Buckingham exercised little direct political influence, and was never a member of the King’s inner circle.

Buckingham fell out dramatically with the King in 1510, when he discovered that the King was having an affair with the Countess of Huntingdon, the Duke’s sister and wife of the 1st Earl of Huntingdon. She was taken to a convent sixty miles away. There are some suggestions that the affair continued until 1513. However, he returned to the King’s graces, being present at the marriage of Henry’s sister, served in Parliament and being present at negotiations with Francis I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

Buckingham, with his Plantagenet blood and numerous connections by descent or marriage with the rest of the aristocracy, became an object of Henry’s suspicion. During 1520, Buckingham became suspected of potentially treasonous actions and Henry VIII authorized an investigation. The King personally examined witnesses against him, gathering enough evidence for a trial. The Duke was finally summoned to Court in April 1521 and arrested and placed in the Tower. He was tried before a panel of 17 peers, being accused of listening to prophecies of the King’s death and intending to kill the King; however, the King’s mind appeared to be decided and conviction was certain. He was executed on Tower Hill on 17 May.

The office thus becoming vacant by the death of the Duke, William PAYNE lost his place as deputy, and was obliged to retire to private life.

The Duke’s successor Sir Thomas Kytson , however, appointed William Payne’s son Henry to the office of bailiff previously held by the father.    Kytson  was a wealthy English merchant, sheriff of London, and builder of Hengrave Hall.

Henry Payne became good friends with Sir Thomas and his wife and her third husband John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath.  Henry was also counsel for the Earl and Countess of Bath.  Hengrave Hall is one of the most magnificent manors from the Tudor period still existing.

Hengrave Hall

Hengrave Hall

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William Payne Sr

William PAYNE (1502 – 1545) was  Alex’s 14th Great Grandfather; in the Shaw line.  So far I’ve only identified 22 immigrant families who  had family crests at the time, out of more than 400  in all. (See my tag  Immigrant Coat of Arms)   Tracing the Payne family manors and their Tudor era friends has been a rare treat.  Ironically, many of the Payne family associates were Roman Catholic Recusants, while their children and grandchildren became Puritans and Separatists.   While seemingly opposite, both groups defied religious authority.

The Arms of Payne of Hengrave: “Argent on a fess engrailed Gules between three martlets Sable, as many mascles or, within a bordure engrailed of the second, charged with fourteen bezants. Crest : a Wolf’s head erased bezantee.”

Argent White or Silver Background
on a fess engrailed Gules Red Bar with circular arcs curving in the same direction, forming points outward
between three martlets Sable three black stylized birds similar to a house martin or swallow, though missing legs
as many mascles or, within Three golden diamond-shaped charges, with diamond shaped holes
bordure engrailed of the second, charged with fourteen bezants. A band of contrasting color forming a border around the edge of a shield, traditionally one-sixth as wide as the shield itself charged with 14 gold circles (coins)
Crest : a Wolf’s head erased bezantee. A Wolf’s head having the appearance of being forcibly torn off, leaving jagged or uneven ends with studded gold roundlets

At first I couldn’t  find a picture that matches this description and made this close approximation

Payne Wolf

Payne Coat of Arms Sussex, not exact, but pretty close. Instead of these three roses, it should have three golden diamond-shaped charges, with diamond shaped holes. It’s also missing a bordure engrailed of the second, charged with fourteen bezants.

Arns of Payne of Market Bosworth  (I finally found from a 1912 book on archive.com

(I finally found from a 1912 book “The Paynes of Hamilton” from Open Library.org )

Genealogies say William Payne was born about 1502 in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, England.

However, he was Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham’s bailiff of Hengrave Manor, a  position of note and importance.  Henry VIII accused Buckingham  of treason and Buckingham lost his head in 1521.  William must have been much older than 19 at the time.  According to Gage’s 1822 book, History of HengraveWilliam Payne seized some lands called Charmans from Thomas Lucas,  Lord of the Manor of neighboring Risby in 2 Henry VIII (1511).  William Payne was involved in an extended legal battle with Lucas which was not settled until several years later in favor of Buckingham.  (For the accusations and counter-accusations, See excerpts from the History of Hengrave below)

Similiarly, William’s son Henry must have been born much before 1530 (see discussion below)

William’s  parents were Edmund PAYNE and Elizabeth WALTON. He married about 1530? in Bosworth to Margery ASH. William died 25 Feb 1545 in Nowton located on the southern edge of Bury St Edmunds,, Suffolk, England.

Margery Ash was born about 1500 in Thurlow, (Little Thurlow/ Great Thurlow) Suffolk Her parents were Thomas ASH and [__?__]. Margery died in 1536 Hengrave, Suffolk.

Children of William and Margery:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Henry Payne ~ 1530? Nowton, Suffolk; “of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk; also York” Unmarried, he left his brothers many estates 25 Jul 1568
Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
2. George Payne 1532 Newton, Suffolk, England
3. Nicholas Payne 1534 Hengrave (or Newton?), Suffolk, England Anne Bowles
Aft. 1568
Manor of Netherall Tindalls, in Soham, Cambridge
4. Edward Payne 1535 Newton, Suffolk; “of Manor of Clees in Alphamston, Essex”  [__?__]
5. Anthony PAYNE 1536
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
1564 Newton, Suffolk, England
3 Mar 1606 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
6. Thomas Payne 1539 “of Cookley, (near Halesworth), Blything, Suffolk, England Katheren Harasant de Cransford
20 Jul 1578 Cookley Suffolk
4 Apr 1631 at: “at age 90/91 years” Cookley, Suffolk
7. John Payne bef. 1542 Nowton Manor, Suffolk, England [__?__] bef.
14 Jun 1568
8. Agatha Payne 1543 Newton (Nowton Manor?), Suffolk, England John Pratt  Aft. 1568
9. Elizabeth Payne 1545 Newton (Nowton Manor?), Suffolk, England Oliver Sparrow Aft. 1568
10. Agnes Payne 1546 Newton (Nowton Manor?), Suffolk, England Henry Gaytwarde  Aft. 1568
11. Anna Payne 1548 Newton (Nowton Manor?), Suffolk, England John Cokefote  Aft. 1568
12. Frances Payne 1550
Newton (Nowton Manor?), Suffolk, England

Norman  Payne Ancestors 

The names Payne and Paine came to England during the Normal  conquest. In Normandy of 1066, the Latin world Paganus meant villager. Since villagers resisted conversion to Christianity longer than did city dwellers, it also came to mean “unbeliever”  (today’s pagan.)   Many have attempted to draw a loose connection with the Latin paganus = pagan due to the Old English word paien being derived from the Latin word Paganus, but there is no hard evidence to support this theory.

The surname Payne originates in France and is a variation of the name Payen (Payen; Payens). It is one of the most revered and ancient surnames of the noblesse families of France. The original family lived in Payen, Normandy, where they held family seats in Payen and Dauphine . During the Norman Conquest of England and the great migration, members of this family migrated to England.  Upon migrating to England, the Payn’s were then granted lands and a family seat in Sussex by Duke William Of Normandy for their distinguished assistance in the battle of Hastings. The first record of Paynes outside of France was in England in the Domesday Book completed in 1086, shortly after the Norman Conquest.including one Pagen who had land near Market Bosworth, the ancestral home of this lineage.

The most notable & historical member of this family is Hugh de Payens (1070 – 1136), the co-founder & first Grand Master of the Knights Templar. The Paynes are traditionally a Catholic family.

Sir Thomas PAYNE, Knight

The first definite information  of the Payne family, is from the “Visitation of Suffolk County,” compiled in 1561, but afterwards extended, at two or three different times, within the next century. This work was afterwards supplemented by Gage in his “The history and antiquities of Suffolk: Thingoe hundred,” both works covering the Payne family in detail.  These writers both describe them as resident of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire, near the famous Field of Bosworth where the last great battle of the Roses was fought and the fate of the Houses of York and Lancaster decided Aug 22 1485 by the death of Richard III and the victory of Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, soon to be Henry VII.

Market Bosworth Today
Market Bosworth Today

There is evidence of settlement on the hill at Market Bosworth  since the Bronze Age.  Remains of a Roman villa have been found on the east side of Barton Road.  Bosworth as an Anglo-Saxon village dates from the 8th century.  Before the Norman Conquest of 1066, there were two manors at Bosworth one belonging to an Anglo-Saxon knight named Fernot, and some sokemen.  Following the Norman conquest, as recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, both the Anglo-Saxon manors and the village were part of the lands awarded by William the Conqueror to the Count of Meulan from Normandy, Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester.

Subsequently the village passed by marriage dowry to the English branch of the French House of Harcourt.  King Edward I gave a royal charter to Sir William Harcourt allowing a market to be held every Wednesday.  On May 12 1285, the village took the name Market Bosworth and became a town.   The two oldest buildings in Bosworth, St. Peter’s Church and the Red Lion pub, were built during the 14th century.The Battle of Bosworth took place to south of the town in 1485 as the final battle in the Wars of the Roses between the House of Lancaster and the House of York.

In 1509 the manor passed from the Harcourts to the Grey family.In 1554, following the beheading of Lady Jane Grey, the manor of Bosworth was among lands confiscated in the name of Mary I of England and her husband Philip II of Spain. They awarded the manor to the Catholic nobleman Edward Hastings. In 1567, his heirs sold it to Sir Wolstan Dixie, Lord Mayor of London, who never lived in Bosworth. The first Dixie to live in Bosworth was his grand-nephew, Sir Wolstan Dixie of Appleby Magna, who moved to the town in 1608.  He started construction of a manor house and park, as well as establishing the free Dixie Grammar School.    Thomas Hooker (1586  – 1647) – Puritan, founder of Connecticut attended the school. The modern hall, Bosworth Hall, was the work of Sir Beaumont Dixie, 2nd Baronet (1629–1692).

William’s  grandfather,  Sir Thomas PAYNE, Knight,  is the earliest of our Paine ancestors to be known for certain. He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas PULTNEY, Knight. The dates of Sir Thomas’ birth, or death, are not  given, but the dates at which his descendants came upon the stage of active life, show that he must have been born in the early part of the fifteenth century. He had three sons: Robert, William, Edmund. The record shows the younger of the three alive in 1540, at which time he had a grandson, then a rich and active man. This fact would seem to establish the birth of Sir Thomas,  according to the usual average of life and birth, in the early 15th century.

Sir Thomas Pultney was an ancestor of William Pulteney,  (1684 – 1764) an English politician, a Whig, created the first Earl of Bath in 1742 by King George II; he is sometimes stated to have been Prime Minister, for the shortest term ever (two days), though most modern sources reckon that he cannot be considered to have held the office.

Children of Sir Thomas and Margaret

i. Robert Payne

What became of the two elder sons of Sir Thomas is not recorded, which shows conclusively that neither of them removed to Suffolk County, and as no mention is made of them in the “Visitation of Leicestershire,” it is equally clear that they did not remain there and have progeny. In the “Visitation of Huntingdonshire,” an adjoining county, the genealogy of a ” Robert Paine” is given, the particulars of which would seem to establish identity with Robert, the son of Thomas, except that his Coat of Arms was altogether different.

As different sons often did adopt divers coats from their father, this fact does not disprove the identity. This family was generally settled at St. Neot’s, a place near where Edmund’s family resided in and about Bury St.  Edmonds and Nowton in the County of Suffolk.

ii. William Payne

iii. Edmund PAYNE

Edmund PAYNE

William’s father Edmund PAYNE was born about 1470 in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, England. He married Elizabeth WALTON, about 1490.    Edmund was alive in 1540, the 32nd year of the reign of Henry VIII.   He and Elizabeth had several sons.  William was the eldest and his heir.  Edmund’s place of residence was undoubtedly that of his birth, at Market Bosworth, Leicesteshire. Edmund died after 1540 in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, England.

Elizabeth Walton was born about 1470 in Leicestershire, England. Her parents were Robert WALTON and [__?__].  Elizabeth died in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, England

William PAYNE Sr.

William removed from Leicestershire to Suffolk and took up his residence at Hengrave. Carrying with him the use of his grandfather’s Coat of Arms, this came thence forth, in heraldic history to be known as the “Coat and Crest of Leicestershire, and Suffolk, ” and is especially known as belonging to “Payne of Hengrave.” He was a man of much note and importance in his day, being in the service of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, as bailiff of his Manor of Hengrave.

Buckingham was in attendance at court at the creation of Henry VII’s second son, the future King Henry VIII, as Duke of York on 9 November 1494, and was made a Knight of the Order of the Garterin 1495. In September 1497 he was a captain in the forces sent to quell a rebellion in Cornwall.

According to Davies, as a young man Buckingham played a conspicuous part in royal weddings and the reception of ambassadors and foreign princes, ‘dazzling observers by his sartorial splendour’. At the wedding of Henry VII’s then eldest son and heir Arthur, Prince of Wales, and Catherine of Aragon in 1501, he is said to have worn a gown worth £1500. He was the chief challenger at thetournament held the following day.

At the accession of King Henry VIII, Buckingham was appointed on 23 June 1509, for the day of the coronation only, Lord High Constable, an office which he claimed by hereditary right. He also served as Lord High Steward at the coronation, and bearer of the crown. In 1509 he was made a member of the King’s Privy Council.

According to Davies, in general Buckingham exercised little direct political influence, and was never a member of the King’s inner circle.

Buckingham fell out dramatically with the King in 1510, when he discovered that the King was having an affair with the Countess of Huntingdon, the Duke’s sister and wife of the 1st Earl of Huntingdon. She was taken to a convent sixty miles away. There are some suggestions that the affair continued until 1513. However, he returned to the King’s graces, being present at the marriage of Henry’s sister, served in Parliament and being present at negotiations with Francis I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

Buckingham, with his Plantagenet blood and numerous connections by descent or marriage with the rest of the aristocracy, became an object of Henry’s suspicion. During 1520, Buckingham became suspected of potentially treasonous actions and Henry VIII authorized an investigation. The King personally examined witnesses against him, gathering enough evidence for a trial. The Duke was finally summoned to Court in April 1521 and arrested and placed in the Tower. He was tried before a panel of 17 peers, being accused of listening to prophecies of the King’s death and intending to kill the King; however, the King’s mind appeared to be decided and conviction was certain. He was executed on Tower Hill on 17 May.

Under the manorial system a bailiff of the manor represented the peasants to the lord, oversaw the lands and buildings of the manor, collected fines and rents, and managed the profits and expenses of the manor and farm.  Bailiffs were outsiders and free men, that is, not from the village. Borough bailiffs would be in charge of the villagers in the town.

Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham
Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham (1478 – 1521) – William Payne was bailiff of his Manor of Hengrave.

In 1521, the Duke having been convicted of conspiring against King Henry VIII, to establish himself in power as his successor, was, by order of the King, put death. The office thus becoming vacant by the death of the Duke, Payne lost his place as deputy, and was obliged to retire to private life.

The Duke’s successor Sir Thomas Kytson , however, appointed William Payne’s son Henry to the office of bailiff previously held by the father.   Sir Thomas Kytson (1485–1540) was a wealthy English merchant, sheriff of London, and builder of Hengrave Hall.

Since Henry Payne became good friends with Sir Thomas’ wife and her second husband John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath   and was also counsel for the Earl and Countess of Bath, I’ll cover Sir Thomas Kytson’s life and family in Henry’s section, though I’ll cover Hengrave Hall,  the magnificent manor he built, here.

Hengrave Hall

Here is the story of Hengrave, the Stafford Dukes of Buckingham and the role of William Payne.  in securing the property from Gage’s 1822 book, History of Hengrave 

For your orientation, here are the three Dukes of Buckingham from this creation.    On  Sep 14 1444, Humphrey Stafford, 6th Earl of Stafford, was created Duke of Buckingham. He was the son of Anne of Gloucester, “Countess of Buckingham”, daughter of Thomas of Woodstock, Earl of Buckingham (later Duke of Gloucester), youngest son of King Edward III of England. Stafford was an important supporter of the House of Lancaster in the Wars of the Roses, and was killed at the Battle of Northampton in July 1460.

He was succeeded by his grandson, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who aided Richard III in his claiming the throne in 1483 (Edward IV of England‘s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville having been declared null and void and Edward’s sons illegitimate by Act of Parliament Titulus Regius), but who then led a revolt against Richard and was executed later that same year.

His son, Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, was restored to the title upon Henry VII‘s accession to the throne in 1485, but he was ultimately executed for treason in 1521 due to his opposition to Cardinal Thomas WolseyHenry VIII‘s chief advisor. At this time the title became extinct.

Hengrave 1

19 Henry VI = 1441, three years before Stafford was created Duke of Buckingham

Hengrave 2
Hengrave 3
Hengrave 4
Hengrave 5
Hengrave 6
Hengrave 7
Hengrave 8

In 1521 Kytson purchased from Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham the manor of Hengrave,Suffolk, and the manor of Colston Basset  in Nottinghamshire. On the attainder and execution of the Duke of Buckingham in the following year, Kytson was for a time deprived of the estates, but they were restored to him, confirmed by an act of parliament of 1524.  (He had great influence in the City of London)

Subsequently he purchased several other manors in Suffolk from the crown. Besides Hengrave, he had houses at Westley and Risby in Suffolk, and at Torbrian in Devon.

At Hengrave, Kytson obtained a license from Henry VIII to build an embattled manor-house on a magnificent scale. The building was begun in 1525, and finished in 1538. An elaborate inventory of the furniture and goods at Hengrave, taken in 1603 (Gage, History of Hengrave 1822, pp. 21-37), illustrates its great extent and elegance, and the vast wealth of its owner.    To give you an idea of the scale, here is the start of the inventory just listing the apartments and offices.  Henry Payne’s chamber is the fifth listed.

Hengrave 9
Hengrave 10
Hengrave 11

Hengrave Hall is a Tudor manor house near Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, England and was the seat of the Kytson and Gage families 1525-1887. Both families were Roman Catholic Recusants.

Hengrave Hall
Hengrave Hall

Work on the house was begun in 1525 by Thomas Kytson the Elder, a merchant and member of the Mercers Company, who completed it in 1538. The house is one of the last examples of a house built around an enclosed courtyard with a great hall. It is constructed from stone taken from Ixworth Priory (dissolved in 1536) and white bricks baked at Woolpit. The house is notable for an ornate oriel window incorporating the royal arms of Henry VIII, the Kytson arms and the arms of the wife and daughters of Sir Thomas Kytson the Younger (Kytson quartered with Paget; Kytson quartered with Cornwallis; Kytson quartered with Darcy; Kytson quartered with Cavendish).

The house is embattled, and in the great hall there is an oriel window with fan vaulting by John Wastell, the architect of the chapels at Eton College and King’s College, Cambridge. The chapel contains 21 lights of Flemish glass commissioned by Kytson and installed in 1538, depicting salvation history from the creation of the world to the Last Judgement. This is the only collection of pre-reformation glass that has remained in situ in a domestic chapel anywhere in England.

Hengrave Hall Chapel Glass

Hengrave Hall Chapel Glass  Credit – Lawrence OP

In the dining room is a Jacobean symbolic painting over the fireplace that defies interpretation, bearing the legend ‘obsta principiis, post fumum flamma’ (‘Stand against the basic tenets, behind the smoke is a flame’).

See more  of Lawrence OP’s Hengrave Hall Pictures Here

Hengrave Hall from the air
Hengrave Hall from the air

The house was altered by the Gage family in 1775. The outer court and the east wing were demolished and the moat was filled in. Alterations on the front of the house were begun but never completed, and Sir John Wood attempted to restore the interior of the house to its original Tudor appearance in 1899. He rebuilt the east wing and re-panelled most of the house in oak.

One room, the Oriel Chamber, retains its original seventeenth century paneling, in which is embedded a portrait of James II painted by William Wissing in 1675. It is thought that some of the original paneling found its way to the Gage’s townhouse in Bury St. Edmunds, now the Farmers’ Club in Northgate Street.

The ornate windows and mouldings at the front of the building feature on the coverpiece on the Suffolk edition of Pevsner’s Buildings of England.

Hengrave Hall appears on the cover of Pevsner's Buildings of England - Suffolk

Hengrave Hall appears on the cover of Pevsner’s Buildings of England – Suffolk

When Sir Thomas Kytson died in 1540, he left Hengrave and all his other property to his wife, Dame Margaret (née Donnington). With her he had a posthumous son, afterwards Sir Thomas Kytson, and four daughters, Katherine, Dorothy, Anne, and Frances. Just two months after her first husband’s death, she married secondly, Sir Richard Long (c.1494-1546) of Shengay (Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Henry VIII). The marriage settlement of Dame Margaret and her third husband, the 2nd Earl of Bath, in 1548, gave her complete control over the extensive personal property she brought into their marriage, including the right to devise it by will should she predecease him.

Hengrave eventually passed down the female Kytson line, and on the death of Elizabeth Kytson in 1625 the house was inherited by her daughter Mary Kytson, who had married Thomas Darcy, 1st Earl Rivers. By her granddaughter Penelope Darcy’s marriage to Sir John Gage, 1st Baronet, the house passed into the Gage family.

Hengrave Hall is now available for wedding parties
Hengrave Hall is now available for wedding parties


1. Henry Payne

Genealogies show Henry’s parents marrying about 1530 and Henry being born shortly thereafter, but I think he must have been born much earlier.

In 1546, Payne purchased of the Crown and received a grant in fee of the Manor of Nowton, the advowson of the church and the hereditaments in Nowton belonging to the dissolved monastery of St. Edmund, one of the most celebrated monasteries in the Kingdom. Not the sort of purchase a 16 year old could make.

When Sir Thomas Kytson died 11 Sep 1540, aged 55 years, Henry recorded Sir Thomas’ noncupative will [odd that such a rich man wouldn’t write a will, I wonder what was that back story] Henry Payne, in the presence of the deponents, asked him, then lying in his bed, if he had any will made; to whom he answered, “No“; and that then the said Payne, speaking again, said “for ye have told me in times past that my lady your wife should have this manor of Hengrave“; and that the said Sir Thomas Kytson answered and said, “Yea, marry shall she“; and that then the said Payne, speaking again, said “And Felton’s too?“- “Yea, answered Sir Thomas Kytson, “and Felton’s too” I assume Henry must have been at least 25 years old to have this responsible position, putting his birth to before 1515. Henry remembered his brothers and sisters generously in his will so he was certainly part of the family.

Henry came to reside in Bury St. Edmunds, in the County of Suffolk. He was bailiff of the Manor of Hengrave.     After the fall and consequent death of Buckingham (see above), and the consequent dismissal of Payne’ s father as bailiff, the Duke’s successor, Sir Thomas Kytson, appointed his son Henry, to the same office of bailiff of the Manor.

Henry was a lawyer by profession, a member of Lincoln’s Inn, Esquire.  The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar.  During the 12th and 13th century, the law was taught in the City of London primarily by the clergy. During the 13th century, two events happened which destroyed this form of legal education: first, a decree by Henry III of England on Dec 2 1234 that no institutes of legal education could exist in the City of London, and, second, a papal bull that prohibited the clergy from teaching the common law, rather than canon law. As a result the system of legal education fell apart. The common lawyers migrated to the hamlet of Holborn, the nearest place to the law courts at Westminster Hall that was outside the City.

The Gatehouse of Lincoln's Inn is the only structure that survives basically unaltered today

The Gatehouse of Lincoln’s Inn is the only structure that survives basically unaltered today from the time Henry had quarters there

Henry was counsel for the Earl and Countess of Bath, Sir John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath, PC and his wife Margaret, who had previously been married to Sir Thomas Kytson.  The Kytsons and Bourchiers were all “recusants” who refused to attend Church of England services and remained loyal to the Roman Catholic Church.

Henry was also personal friends with the Earl and Countess.  The  Earl on his death bequeathed to him for a remembrance a gold ring of the value of 40s. and the Countess styling him ” her loving friend,” directed by her will, that he should be associated with her executors and gave him a legacy of £20.

Tomb of Countess of Bath Hengrave Hall

Tomb of Countess of Bath Hengrave Hall

Henry Payne’s Properties

Henry amassed a lot of property during his life, and since he never married he bequeathed numerous estates to his brothers and nephews.  Much of Henry’s property came from purchases made during Henry VII’s  Dissolution of the Monasteries.

During his life it was that Henry VIII dissolved so large a part of the Catholic monasteries of England, and seized upon their effects, converting them to his own use and purposes. In the 37th year of that Kings reign,  1546, Payne purchased of the Crown and received a grant in fee of the Manor of Nowton, the advowson of the church and the hereditaments in Nowton belonging to the dissolved monastery of St. Edmund, one of the most celebrated monasteries in the Kingdom.

The Abbey of Bury St Edmunds was once among the richest Benedictine monasteries in England. Its ruins lie in Bury St Edmunds,

Ruins of Abbey of St Edmunds

The Abbey’s charters granted extensive lands and rights in Suffolk. By 1327, the Abbey owned all of West Suffolk. The Abbey held the gates of Bury St Edmunds; they held wardships of all orphans, whose income went to the Abbot until the orphan reached maturity; they pressed their rights of corvée.  The monks charged tariffs on every economic activity, including the collecting of horse droppings in the streets. The Abbey even ran the Royal Mint.

Throughout 1327, the monastery suffered extensively, as several monks lost their lives in riots, and many buildings were destroyed. The townspeople attacked in January, forcing a charter of liberties on them. When the monks reneged on this they attacked again in February and May. The hated charters and debtors’ accounts were seized and triumphantly torn to shreds. On October 18, 1327, a group of monks entered the local parish church. They threw off their habits, they were armoured underneath, and took several hostages. The people called for the hostages’ release, the monks fired on them, killing some. In response, the citizens swore to fight the abbey to the death. They included a parson and 28 chaplains. They burnt the gates and captured the abbey.

Abbeygate In Bury St Edmunds

Abbeygate In Bury St Edmunds Rebuilt in the 14th C after the townspeople’s revolt of 1327 destroyed the previous gates

Henry also purchased the Grange in Thorpe Riggnoll in the County of York, parcel of the lands of the Priori of Worksop, Nottinghamshire.   For the grants he paid to the Crown, as consideration, the sum of £647 18s. 1d . The sale of the Manor was made subject to a lease then existing in favor of William Sterne for twenty years for the yearly rent of .£25 13s. 9d.

By this purchase Paine became Lord of the Manor of Nowton, a right or dignity which followed the law or inheritance.

Sir Thomas Kytson (1485 – 1540)

After the fall and consequent death of Buckingham (see above), and the consequent dismissal of Payne’ s father as bailiff, the Duke’s successor, Sir Thomas Kytson, appointed his son Henry, to the same office of bailiff of the Manor.

Sir Thomas Kyston was born in 1485 in Warton, Lancashire.  His father was  Robert Kytson.  The name of his first wife is not known and he had one daughter Elizabeth Kytson. wife of Edmund Crofts of Westowe, Suffolk. He second married Margaret Donnington.  Thomas died 11 Sep 1540, Hengrave, Suffolk, Englan

Margaret Donnington (Countess of  Bath) (b. ~1509, Stoke Newington, London, England  –  d. 12 Jan 1561 – bur. Hengrave Church)  Her parents were John Donnington and Elizabeth Pye; m2. 1541   Sir Richard Long (1494-1546) –  Politician and courtier, for many years a member of the privy chamber of Henry VIII.  They had one son, Henry, to whom the King stood as godfather in 1544;  m3.  ~1547 to  John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath

Sir Thomas Kytson by Hans Holbeins

This painting of Sir Thomas Kytson by Hans Holbein hung in the Great Chamber of Hengrove Hall

Children of Sir Thomas and Margaret:  (notice that Margaret and Frances married father and son)

2. Catherine Kytson   m. Sir John Spencer of Wormleighton, Warwickshire

3.Frances  Kytson m. John Bourchier, 5th Baron FitzWarin, eldest son of John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath;

4. Anne Kytson  m. Sir William Spring of Pakenham, Suffolk.

5. Dorothy Kytson  m.  Sir Thomas Packington of Westwood, Worcestershire;

6. Sir Thomas Kytson (Younger) (born posthumously, hence not in his father’s will)

Sir Thomas Kytson, the Younger (1573), son of Sir Thomas  by George Gower.

Sir Thomas Kytson, the Younger (1573), son of Sir Thomas by George Gower.

Sir Thomas came to London in his youth, and was apprenticed to Richard Glayser, mercer, and on the expiration of his indenture was admitted a freeman of the Mercers’ Company in 1507. He twice served the office of warden of the company, in 1526 and 1534, and held the office of master in 1534.

Mercers Company Badge

Sir Thomas Kytson was Master of the Worshipful Company of Mercers in 1534

The Worshipful Company of Mercers is the premier Livery Company of the City of London and ranks first in the order of precedence of the Companies.   The Company’s aim was to act as a trade association for general merchants, and especially for exporters of wool and importers of velvet, silk and other luxurious fabrics. By the 16th century many members of the Company had lost any connection with the original trade. Today, the Company exists primarily as a charitable institution, supporting a variety of causes.

In 1521 Kytson purchased of the Duke of Buckingham the manor of Hengrave, Suffolk, and the manor of Colston Basset in Nottinghamshire for £ 2,340 , the estates being valued at £ 115  yearly. On the attainder and execution of the Duke of Buckingham in the following year, Kytson was for a time deprived of the estates, but they were ultimately restored to him, and were confirmed to him by an act of Parliament of 1524, which describes him as a ‘citizen and mercer of London, otherwise called Kytson the merchant’.

In the valuation of the lands and goods of the inhabitants of London, taken in 1522, Kytson was assessed in goods at a thousand marks (altered to four thousand marks), and in lands at six hundred marks. In the following year he appears indebted to the Crown for £600, and at the time his financial dealings with the crown were on a large scale.

His mercantile transactions were very extensive. He was a member of the Company of Merchant Adventurers, and traded at the cloth fairs or staples held by that company at Antwerp, Middelburg, and other places in Flanders. Like many other wealthy London merchants, he appears to have had a house and staff of servants’ at Antwerp.

Under Henry VII‘s charter of 1505, the company had a governor and 24 assistants. The members were trading capitalists. They were probably mostly composed of London mercers.

Foreign merchants of the Hanseatic League had considerable privileges in England trade and competed with the Merchant Adventurers. These privileges were revoked by the English government in the mid-16th century.

The Merchant Adventurers had a commercial monopoly. Its members were the only persons entitled to export cloth from England. Their main market (or staple port) was Antwerp. When the King of Spain as sovereign of the Low Countries increased customs duty in 1560, the merchants began to have difficulty in Antwerp. This rise in duty conflicted with the treaty with Brabant of 1496. Three years later, the King of Spain prohibited English ships from coming to the Low Countries.

The Merchant Adventurers then decided to use other ports. Emden in East Friesland and Hamburg competed to entertain the Merchant Adventurers of England, who chose Emden. They soon found, however, that the port failed to attract sufficient merchants to buy the English merchants’ wares. They left abruptly and returned to Antwerp. Operations there were interrupted by Elizabeth I’s seizing Spanish treasure ships, which were conveying money to the Duke of Alva, governor of the Netherlands. although trade was resumed at Antwerp from 1573 to 1582, it ceased with the declining fortunes of that city.

Under the charter of 1564, the company’s court consisted of a governor (elected annually was by members beyond the seas), his deputies, and 24 Assistants. Admission was by patrimony (being the son of a merchant, free of the company at the son’s birth), service (apprenticeship to a member), redemption (purchase) or ‘free gift’. By the time of the accession of James I in 1603, there were at least 200 members. Fees for admission were then gradually increased.

Kytson served the office of sheriff of London in 1533, and on 30 May in that year was knighted, an honor which was not conferred upon his co-sheriff, William Foreman. In May 1534 he was associated with Rowland Lee, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, in receiving oaths of fealty from priests and monks.  Kytson was assessed for the subsidy of 1535 at four thousand marks.

Subsequently he purchased several other manors in Suffolk of the crown of the yearly value of £202, 4s, 7d., for which he paid £3,710 1s. 8d. From an inventory of his effects taken after his death, it appears that his warehouses in London were stored with cloth of gold, satins, tapestry, velvets, furs, fustians, bags of pepper, cloves, madder, &c., to the value of £1,181 15s. 1d., and the ready money and debts (goods, doubtful, and desperate) amounted to a very considerable sum. He had a dwelling-house on Milk Street (with a chapel attached), the ‘implements’ in which were valued at £154. 8s. 3 1/2d.; a garden in Coleman Street, and a house and chapel at Stoke Newington. Besides Hengrave, he had houses at Westley and Risby in Suffolk, and at Torbrian in Devonshire.

Sir Thomas Kytson died 11 Sep 1540, aged 55 years. Upon the 21st of the same month allegations were taken to prove his noncupative will [odd that such a rich man wouldn’t write a will, I wonder what was the back story].  John Crofts, of Westowes, Esq.; Edmund Crofts, on Lincoln’s Inn, Gent., and others, deposed, that on Saturday, the 11 Sep, Sir Thomas Kytson being sick, and lying within his manor of Hengrave, about 8 o’clock of the night, Henry Payne, in the presence of the deponents, asked him, then lying in his bed, if he had any will made; to whom he answered, “No“; and that then the said Payne, speaking again, said “for ye have told me in times past that my lady your wife should have this manor of Hengrave“; and that the said Sir Thomas Kytson answered and said, “Yea, marry shall she“; and that then the said Payne, speaking again, said “And Felton’s too?“- “Yea, answered Sir Thomas Kytson, “and Felton’s too“; that the substance of this conversation was immediately set down in writing, in the form of a will, by Henry Payne, at the request of Sir Thomas Kytson, in his presence and in that of the deponents; and that Sir Thomas Kytson lived four hours after this conversation.

Sir Thomas Kytson

Margaret, countess of Bath (Sir Thomas Kytson’s widow), and her three husbands in Hengrave Church

Kytson was buried with much state in Hengrave Church. In the north-east angle of the chapel is a well-executed tomb to the memory of Margaret, countess of Bath (his widow), and her three husbands. A recumbent figure of Kytson in armour is placed on the step in front of the tomb, the frieze of which contains an inscription to his memory. On 22 Sep 1540 allegations were taken to prove his nuncupative will, by which he left his manors of Hengrave and Feltons and all his other property to his wife, Dame Margaret. The will is dated 11 Sep 1540.

In 1589, the parish of Hengrave was suppressed. Why? Why was this church closed? What happened here for it to be given up? It is very simple. The Kytsons and the Gages were militantly recusant families. They maintained their Catholic faith and identity throughout the penal period. And they were powerful enough to face off the legal penalties that came with such a position. This is less rare in the north-west, for instance, but quite an unusual position in East Anglia.

The son of the Sir Thomas who built the hall was powerful enough to have entertained Queen Elizabeth in 1578, despite his Catholic faith. It is said that she tried to argue him into protestantism; in return, he presented her with a beautiful jewel. No wonder, then, that it was easier to hive off Hengrave church from the diocese of Norwich, than to tolerate the recusant priests that Sir Thomas, as patron of the living, would no doubt impose on them!

The will of Margaret Donnington, named members of the Spring family and Henry Payne. And she appointed her trusty and well-beloved son-in-law, Sir John Spencer and Sir Thomas Pakington, her son Thomas Kytson, and her son-in-law William Barnaby, executors of her will, and to be associated with them her loving friend Henry Payne; to each of whom she gave twenty pounds.

The wardship of her son, Sir Thomas Kytson, belonged to the King and was granted by the Crown first to Lord Chancellor Rich and afterward to the Countess of Bath.

Earl and Countess of Bath

 Sir John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath, PC (1499, Devon – 10 February 1560/61)

His parents were John Bourchier (1º E. Bath) and Cecily Daubeney.   He married three times, first to Elizabeth Hungerford,, second (before 25 May 1524) to Eleanor Manners, daughter of Anne St. Leger and George Manners, 11th Baron de Ros, and upon her death, married (about 4 Dec 1548) Margaret Donnington, widow of Sirr Thomas Kytson.  His heir was John Bourchier, 5th Baron FitzWarin, born 1529, who married Margaret’s daughter from her first marriage, Lady Frances Kytson. Their son William Bourchier, 3rd Earl of Bath, was born the same year his father died, 1557. Upon the death of his father, young William became the heir to his grandfather’s Earldom.

Sir John was appointed High Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset in 1519 and knighted in 1523. Henry VIII, in 1539, the former monastic manors of HackpenSheldonBolham and Saint Hill to the 2nd Earl, who had already inherited the Dynhams line’s Okehampton Barony from his grandmother, Elizabeth Dynham.   The second Earl lived somewhat dangerously, he owed the King £336.

He succeeded to the title of 2nd Earl of Bath on 30 Apr 1539. He succeeded to the title of Baron of Daubeney on 8 Apr 1548.

Upon the death of Edward VI, he was one of the first to declare Lady Mary Tudor rightful queen. He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (PC) in 1553, and served as a Commissioner to decide on the claims made at the coronation of Mary I.   Bourchier was also a commissioner on the trial of Lady Jane Grey in 1554.

Other offices held in Sir John’s lifetime included: Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall in 1556,  Lord-Lieutenant of Devon in 1556, Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset and Governor of Beaumaris Castle.

Sir John Bourchier died Feb  10, 1560/61 and was buried March 10, at Hengrave.

Sir John Bourchier’s first  cousin, Anne Stanhope was the daughter of the 1st Earl of Baths sister, Elizabeth. Upon her marriage to Edward SeymourDuke of Somerset, she became the sister-in-law to Queen Jane Seymour and the Aunt of King Edward VI. After the death of Henry VIII, his widow, Catherine Parr, married Thomas Seymour. This made Anne the sister-in-law to two English queens

Some have speculated that Mary I stopped briefly at Hengrave on her way to Framlingham Castle in 1553, but there is no evidence for this other than that John Bourchier, Earl of Bath, who had married Sir Thomas Kytson’s widow Margaret, was a loyal supporter of the Queen. (However the Queen’s father Henry VIII was godfather to Margaret’s son Henry Long from her 2nd marriage, so it is not entirely improbable).

Elizabeth I stayed at Hengrave from 27–30 Aug 1578 and a chamber is named in her honor.  The madrigalist John Wilbye was employed by the Kytsons at Hengrave and in Colchester from around 1594 until his death in 1638, as was the composer Edward Johnson. During the Stour Valley anti-popery riots of 1642, Sir William Spring, Penelope Darcy’s cousin, was ordered by Parliament to search the house, where it was thought arms for a Catholic insurrection were being stored.  The Jesuit William Wright was arrested at Hengrave Hall.

Back to Henry Payne

Henry Payne died July 25, 1568, and was buried the next day in the Parish church of Nowton. He left a will, made a few days before his death giving his estate, most of it, to charitable purposes. To three score poor householders in each of the Parishes of St. Mary and St. James [now St Edmundsbury Cathedral] in Bury St. Edmunds, he gave three score bushels of rye, that they and their families might pray for him ; and to the poor prisoners in the gaol [jail] two bushels of rye to be baked for them, together with as much meat as ten shillings would purchase, and 6s. 8d. in money and an annual allowance of wood for 20 years; He gave 54s.  to maintain the monument, etc., of St Mary’s church, 20s. to repair it, small sums to the poor men’s boxes of Nowton and other churches,

St Marys Church Bury St Edmunds Suffolk England
St Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

The present church of St Mary’s in Bury St. Edmonds is the second building to stand on the site, the first being built in the 12th century by Mr Hervey. However, nothing survives of the Norman church and the oldest part of the existing building is the decorated chancel (c. 1290).

There was a major renovation between the 14th and 16th centuries and it is at this point that the nave, its aisles and the tower were built. It is also at this time that Mary Tudor, favorite sister of Henry VIII, died and was buried in the church. Her tomb is in the sanctuary directly in front of the high altar. The church, however, is dedicated to Mary the mother of Jesus, and not, as some believe, to Mary Tudor.

During the 16th century, John Notyngham and Jankyn Smyth, two wealthy benefactors to the church, died and left generous amounts of money to the church. These funds contributed to building the north and south quire aisles, now the Lady Chapel and Suffolk Regimental chapel, two chantry chapels and a north and south porch. I wonder if they were Henry’s friends.

Henry gave  one friend the Countess of Bath’s cup, to another his Chaucer “written in vellum and illumined in gold,” to another “a standing cup with cover all gilt that was part of the Countess of Bath’s plate ” and also ” a cloth of fine work that hung over the cupboard in his room with the story of Noe and the Creation of the World,” also various gifts to his brothers and sisters and their children.

  • To Walter, son of his late brother John Payne, he gave his homestead on College street, St. Edmunds Bury, with the College Hall adjoining and 300 marks and furniture, etc.
  • To William James, the 2d husband of his brother John’s widow, 40s. and
  • To his brother Edward, his household effects, tiles and bricks made at his Manor of the Clees in Essex.
  • The Manor of Nowton he settled on his brother Anthony. Other lands he gave to his brother Anthony for life, with remainder over to Anthony’s sons John, Thomas and William successively in tail male. [In common law, fee tail  is an estate of inheritance in real property which cannot be sold, devised by will, or otherwise alienated by the owner, but which passes by operation of law to the owner’s heirs upon his death.  In  “fee tail male”, only sons could inherit.]
  • Besides other devises he gave to his brother Nicholas and William his son, the Manor of Netherhall in Soham, Cambridgeshire on pay’ of £100 to his Executors.

His will was proved Feb 2, 1569. He was never married or at least left no widow, or children. The records compiled by the author of the ” Visitation ” show ” Mr. Henry Paine, Esq., Lord and Patron of Nowton buried July 26, 1568.”

Will of Henry Payne 1
Will of Henry Payne 14 Jun 1568 – The Visitation of Suffolke

Will of Henry Payne 2

Will of Henry Payne 3

Will of Henry Payne 4

Sir William Drury

Henry was close friends with Sir William Drury (1527 – 1579) (wiki) an English statesman and soldier.   John Gage’s The history and antiquities of Suffolk: Thingoe hundred says he was Sir William’s sister Mary’s godfather. However, I can’t find that Sir William had any sister of that name.

Sir William  was a son of Sir Robert Drury of Hedgerley in Buckinghamshire, and grandson of another Sir Robert Drury (died 1536), who was speaker of the House of Commons in 1495. He was a brother of Dru Drury.

He was born at Hawstead in Suffolk, and was educated at Gonville College, Cambridge. Fighting in France, Drury was taken prisoner in 1544; then after his release, he helped Lord Russell, afterwards Earl of Bedford, to quell a rising in Devonshire in 1549, but he did not come to the front until the reign of Elizabeth.

In 1554 he sat as Member of Parliament for Chipping Wycombe. In 1559, he was sent to Edinburgh to report on the condition of Scottish politics, and five years later he became Marshal and deputy-governor of Berwick-upon-Tweed. He was a close observer of the affairs of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her house-arrest in Loch Leven Castle, and was in constant communication with Lord Burghley and wrote to him on 3 April 1568 regarding her escape from that place on 25 March about which he gave a full account. Again in Scotland in January 1570, it is interesting to note that the regent James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, was proceeding to keep an appointment with Drury in Linlithgow when he was mortally wounded, and it was probably intended to murder the English envoy also.

After this event, Drury led two raids into Scotland; at least thrice he went to that country on more peaceable errands, during which, however, his life was continually in danger from assassins; and he commanded the force which compelled Edinburgh Castle to surrender in May 1573. In 1576, he was sent to Ireland as President of Munster, where his rule was severe but effective, and in 1578 he became Lord Justice to the Irish Council, taking the chief control of affairs after the departure of Sir Henry Sidney. The Second Desmond Rebellion had just broken out when Sir William died in October 1579.

Drury’s letters to Cecil, and others, are invaluable for the story of the relations between England and Scotland at this time.

Children of Sir Robert Drury  and Elizabeth Brudenell (Notice  that there is no one named Mary who Gage says was the goddaughter of Henry Payne)

i. Sir Robert Drury, heir,  and  Anne Bourman

ii. Sir William, Lord Justice Governor of Ireland d, 1579, m. Margaret, daughter of Thomas, Lord Wentworth. (Henry Payne’s friend)

iii. Sir Drue of Lynsted, Usher of the Privy Chamber to Queen Elizabeth and a keeper of Mary, Queen of Scots (b. 1518; d. 1617), m1. Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Phillip Calthorpe and Amata Boleyn (aunt of Queen Anne Boleyn), m2. Catherine, daughter of William Finch of Lynsted (d.1601).

iv. Anne m. 1557 Robert Woodliffe (1507 -1593) The widowed Anne Woodliff and her son Drew were taken to court by Ingram Frizer, the possible murderer of Christopher Marlowe, who had defrauded Drew of a great deal of money. Frizer offered cannon which he had on Tower Hill as payment, but he did not deliver.

v. Margaret, m. Henry Trenchard

vi. Lucy, m. Robert Tesh

vii. Elizabeth, m. Rowland Hind

Henry wrote in his will  that he noticed that he had purchased of Sir Wm. Drury certain parcels of land in Nowton and Hawsted, he directed that Wm. Drury, Esq., son of Robert & grandson of Sir Wm., should have the option of purchasing or redeeming the same for 9 score & ten pounds [£190], but as they were convenient to be held with the Testator’s manor of Nowton, in order to induce the sd Wm. Drury to give up the repurchase, the testator bequeathed to him a nest of bowls double gilt, with a cover with the arms graven thereon of the Earl of Oxenford [Earl of Oxford] & his lady, & the testator’s best silver basin & ewer, with the arms of Peyton thereon, & 3 cushions of velvet for the furnishing of his house at Hawsted; and if he should repurchase, the testator revoked the sd bequests. giving him in such case for his good will toward the children of his brother Anthony, a gold ring and a fair turquois.  And he devised the same lands, if Wm. Drury declined the purchase to his brother Anthony for live, remr successively to his sons John, Thos. and Wm. Payne in tail male.

And he gave to his god-daughter Mary Drury, sister of Sir Wm. Drury, 5 marks, and to lady Corbett, his dapple grey gelding, which he had bought of Mark, the Physician, and also a little trencher salt of silver, with a cover all gilt, and his casting bottle of silver parcel gilt for rose-water, as a remembrance, desiring her to pray for him,  And among other dispositions, the testator devised to his brother Nicholas Payne and Wm. his son, the manor of Netherhall, in Soham, in Cambridgeshire on their payment to his Executors of £100.  And he gave to his late servant John Orras, and the before mentioned Wm. Cooke, all the furniture of the testator’s chambers in Lincoln’s Inn.

Proved (cur. proerog. Cant.) 2 Feb 1568/69

3. Nicholas Payne

Nicholas’ wife  Anne Bowles was of Baldock, Hertfordshire, 50 miles southwest of Hengrave

Nicholas resided at Hengrave, County of Suffolk, June 14, 1568. He was devisee under his brother Henry’s will, of the Manor of Netherall Tindalls, in Soham, Cambridge. Nicholas and Anne had 5 children

Netherhall Manor – Tanners Lane, Soham, Ely, England

The origins of Netherhall Manor are uncertain.  Robert Bright of London, son of Thomas the elder, purchased the manor in 1601.   Page’s History of Suffolk states that the Ashfield family built the manor house and were seated at Netherhall during the reign of Henry VII, but later research reveals the Ashfields had another manor of the same name in Eastern Suffolk.Magna Britannia 1808 says – Netherhall-Tindales has in the last two centuries been successfully in the families of Barnes,  Foulkes, Hanmer, and Hervey.  In 1805 it was purchased of the Hurveys by the present propriater Mr. Robert Pigott.Magna Britania also names a manor Netherhall-Wygorne in Soham.

Click here for Google Maps Satellite View

Today, the garden of Netherhall Manor contains one of the most comprehensive collections of old English plants.  Visitors are welcome by appointment from March to August. Refreshments (home made tea and cakes) by prior arrangement.

Netherhall Garden
Netherhall Garden

One-acre walled garden filled with old-fashioned flowers. Tours by the expert owner and garden writer. ‘Elegant with a touch of antiquity… a positive delight’ Good Gardens Guide. Tour concludes with eighteenth century music played on family square piano.April: Tudor primroses, old varieties of hyacinths, daffodils, crown imperials; May: Old-English florists’ tulips; August: Victorian gold and silver tri-coloured pelargoniums, heliotrope, calceolaria and pompom dahlias..

Children of Nicholas and Anne:

i. William Paine, resided at Worlington, Suffolk Co., gentleman, devisee in remainder of the Manor of Netherall Tindalls in Soham, under his uncle Henry’s will, married Elizabeth Chenery, Nov. 8, 1585. His will dated July 26, 1614, proved July 16, 1617, her will dated March 21, 1628, proved May 29th, 1630.

Will of William Payne
Will of William and Elizabeth Payne — The Visitation of Suffolke

William and Elizabeth  had 5 children as follows:

– William, died in 1617.

– Henry, married Ann Alston.

Will of Henry Payne -- The Visitation of Suffolke

Will of Henry Payne — The Visitation of Suffolke

–  Elizabeth, married Francis Dister.

Will of Francis Dister

Will of Francis Dister — The Visitation of Suffolke

– Mary, married Thomas Biggs.

– Ann, married Thomas Gest.

ii.  Thomas Paine

iii. Mary Paine, m..Robert Bridgham.

iv.  Dorothy Paine, m. Thomas Nichols.

v.  Ann Paine, m. John Howard.

4. Edward Payne

Edward was living June 14, 1568, and married. He received the Manor of Clees in Alphanstone, Essex, from  his brother Henry.

Clees Hall

Arial view of Clees Hall   A = Granary Approximately East South East of Clees Hall; B = Wall Approximately 20 Metres South East of Clees Hall; C = Barn Approximately 55 Metres South East of Clees Hall, Alphamstone

Clees Hall is two miles south of Alphamstone.

Manorial records of Clees Hall are available at Essex Archives Online,

The story below from The history and topography of  the County of Essex By Thomas Wright 1836 isn’t quite right.  Edward Payne received Clees Manor as a gift from his brother Henry.  Also, I think the Clees Manor house is two miles south of Alphamstone and the parish church.

Clees 1

Clees 2

The most recent mention of Clees Hall I can find is White’s Directory of Essex 1848

ALPHAMSTONE, a small village on an eminence overlooking the vale of the Stour, 5 miles North East by East of Halstead, has in its parish 341 souls, and 1531A. of land. It has a fair, for pleasure and pedlery, on the 1st Thursday in June. Sir R. T. D. Neave, Bart., is lord of the manor, and owner of Clees Hall, a neat mansion occupied by E. Kemp Esq.; but Boxted Hall belongs to Jno. Start, Esq.; and Mrs. E Kemp, the Rev. R. B. Harvey, and several smaller owners, have estates here.

St Barnabas Church, Alphamstone

St Barnabas Church, Alphamstone

The Church [St Barnabas] is a small ancient structure, of flint, with a tower, short spire, and three bells. The Rectory, valued in K.B. at £11, and in 1831 at £407, is in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor, and incumbency of the Rev. Hy. Hodges, M.A., who has 28A of glebe, and a neat residence, in the Elizabethan style, built about eight years ago. The tithes were commuted in 1848, for £440 per annum.

For distribution at Christmas, the poor parishioners have the rents of two cottages and 2½A. of land, given by Thos. Clayton, in 1560, and now let for £8.8s. per annum. They have also 20s. yearly out of Twinstead Hall estate, pursuant of the bequest of Isaac Wincoll, who, in 1681, also charged the same estate with the payment of £1 each to the four parishes of Twinstead, Great Henny, Pebmarsh, and Lamarsh, for the poor.

Three outbuildings are Grade II British listed buildings, but not Clees Manor itself.

A =  Granary Approximately East South East of Clees Hall. Mid C18. N and S walls of red brick in Flemish bond, E and W walls timber framed and weatherboarded, roofed with handmade red clay tiles. Gambrel roof half-hipped at both ends. 2 storeys. External ladder access at W end. Hanging knees to beams. Lodged side purlin roof with intermediate collars. Moated site.

B = Wall Approximately 20 Metres South East of Clees Hall Grade: II English Heritage Building ID: 114793   Early C16. Red brick, lime mortar, mainly of header bond on W side with some courses of stretcher bond. Approx. 5 metres long, 2 metres high, 0.33 metre thick, thicker at base. Now forms the W side of a C20 ancillary building, originally part of or associated with the former Clees Hall. Moated site.

C = Barn Approximately 55 Metres South East of Clees Hall  Barn. Late C15/early C16. Timber framed, thatched roof with valleys of handmade red clay tiles, aisle roofed with corrugated iron. 6 bays aligned E-W with C17 midstrey to S of W bay. Reported by RCHM to have been then of 10 bays and 120 feet long, the 4 western bays later removed, reportedly to North America.

Originally without aisles, aisle added to N in C18. Jowled posts, heavy studding and girts in E and S walls, edge-halved and bridled scarfs in wallplates, queen post roof. One pair of arched braces to tiebeam present, others replaced by hanging knees in C17/C18. Some wattle and daub present in S wall. E bay bricked and floored in C20. Moated site. RCHM

Several busineses currently have an address of Clees HallAlphamstone, Bures, Suffolk.  It looks like the manor house has been turned into offices

Clees Hall Drawing

Clees Hall Drawing —  Courtesy Tracy Gwinn

He had two sons.  Children of Edward and [__?__]

i. Henry Paine had the manor of Worlington settled upon him by his uncle Henry (See above).

Worlington Hall

Worlington Hall

Worlington Hall is an elegant 16th century former Manor House set in five acres of gardens with protected trees and fishing rights on the River Lark. The original house was built in 1570 and the Queen Anne facade was added in the early 18th century.  Today it is a distinguished Country House Hotel recently restored to reflect its original elegance.

Henry was married and had two children :

– Henry, married Susan Beriffs, and died Jan 22, 1606.

– Thomas. No issue. He was living Jun 14, 1568.

ii. Thomas Paine, j & J T J

5. Anthony PAYNE (See his page)

Henry settled the Manor of Nowton on his brother Anthony.

6. Thomas Payne

Thomas’ wife Katherine Harasant de Cransford was born 1564 in Wrentham, Suffolk, England. She was the daughter of Thomas Harasant de Cransford. Katherine died 18 May 1620 in Wrentham.

Children of Thomas and Katherine:

i. Henri Paine b. 31 Jul 1579 Wrentham, Suffolk, England; d. 26 Sep 1579

ii. John Payne b. 27 Oct 1580 Wrentham, Suffolk, England; m. Mary Harden

iii. Marie Payne b. 25 Mar 1583 Wrentham, Suffolk, England; d. 1583.

iv. Robarte Payne b. 7 Jun 1584 Wrentham, Suffolk, England; d. 25 Oct 1618 Wrentham, Suffolk, England; m1. 13 Jul 1615 in Chapel St Mary, Suffolk, England to Mary Chichely; m2. 29 Apr 1622 in Dunwich St Pete, Suffolk, England to Margaret Bommett; m3. 10 Sep 1628 in Chapel St Mary, Suffolk to Marie Haw

v. Thomas Payne b. 11 Dec 1586 Wrentham, Suffolk, England; d. 01 Mar 1639 in Salem, Mass; m. Elizabeth Bloomfield ( b ~ 1584 in England – d. 15 Sep 1658 in Southold, Suffolk, New York) Thomas and Elizabeth had eight children born between 1611 and 1626.

When he immigrated, Thomas left a mill in Suffolk in the hands of his “kinsman Henery  Blomfield.”  Blomfield may have been the brother of his wife or Blomfield’s wife may have been her sister.

Alternatively, he married Elizabeth Tuthill (b. 1584 in Tharston, Norfolk, England – d. 1657 in Salem, Essex, Mass,) Her parents were John Tuthill Jr. (1548 – 1618) and Elizabeth Woolmer (1567 – 1587) or Margaret Pultney (b. 1582)

Thomas Payne purchased the vessel  Mary Anne and immigrated  from  Yarmouth, arriving in Boston August 21, 1637. Thomas Paine was received into the town of Salem, Massachusetts; at the age of 51.   68 Puritans made the trip including several other relatives.  See my post Passages for details.

Thomas was listed as a weaver who had come from Wrentham, Suffolk County, England. He married Elizabeth [__?__] on Nov 22, 1610.

Descendants of Thomas Payne

Descendants of Thomas Payne

Thomas Payne 11

Thomas Payne 12
Thomas Payne 13
Thomas Payne 14
Thomas Payne 15

Thomas Payne 16
Thomas Payne 17
Thomas Payne 18
Thomas Payne 19
Thomas Payne 20
Thomas Payne 22

7. John Payne

The name of John’s wife is not known.   After John died, she married William James.

John died previous to June 14, 1568, leaving Walter Paine, gentleman, son and heir and also heir at law to his uncle Henry, he being then more than 21 years of age

Child of John and [__?__]

i.  Walter Paine,, gentleman, son and heir, had two children as already noted : Mary, bap. 9 Jun 1577 and  John, bap. 12 Dec 1579.

In his uncle Henry’s will, Walter  received Henry’s homestead on College street, St. Edmunds Bury, with the College Hall adjoining and 300 marks and furniture, etc.

College Street Bury St Edmunds – Google Street View – Could some of these buildings be Tudor buildings  from Henry and Walter Payne’s era?

8. Agatha Payne

According to the Suffolk visitation, Agatha’s husband John Pratt was from Dutton, Cambridgeshire. I can’t find Dutton, perhaps what was meant was Sutton, a civil parish in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England.

Child of Agatha and John:

i. Henry Pratt b. 1570 in Waterford, Hertfordshire, England; d. 1593 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

9. Elizabeth Payne

According to the 1561 Suffolk visitation, Elizabeth’s husband Oliver Sparrow (Olyver Sparrow) was from Chedbar, Suffolk. I’m still looking for the modern equivalent, perhaps it’s Chedburgh, a village and civil parish around five miles south-west of Bury St Edmunds,

10. Agnes Payne

According to the Suffolk visitation, Agnes’ husband Henry Gaytwarde was from Spynney, Essex. I haven’t found the modern equivalent, perhaps The Spinney, Queens Park, Basildon, Essex

11. Anna Payne

Anna’s husband John Cokefote was from Badwater, Essex, probably Great Baddow, an urban village in the Chelmsford borough of Essex, England. It is close to the county town, Chelmsford and, with a population of over 13,000, is one of the largest villages in the country. Great Baddow (Baddow meaning ‘bad water’) was named after the River Baddow (now known as the River Chelmer


The_History_and_Antiquities_of_Hengrave.pdf By John Gage 1838


The Visitation of Suffolke, Volume 2 By William Harvey, England.

The history and antiquities of Suffolk: Thingoe hundred By John Gage, John Gage Rokewode 1838



Pulteney or Poultney Family of Misterton, Leicestershire

Paine family records: a journal of genealogical and biographical information Volume 1
edited by Henry D. Paine 1880


St Edmundsbury Reformation and Civil War 1539-1699

Sir Robert Drury (b. Edgerly, Buckinghamshire-1589 [1575?])


Posted in Historical Church, Historical Site, Line - Shaw | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Anthony Payne

Anthony PAYNE (1536 – 1606) was  Alex’s 13th Great Grandfather; the Shaw line.

The Arms of Payne of Hengrave, William’s grandfather: “Argent on a fess engrailed Gules between three martlets Sable, as many mascles or, within a bordure engrailed of the second, charged with fourteen bezants. Crest : a Wolf’s head erased bezantee.”

At first I couldn’t  find a picture that matches this description and made this close approximation

Payne Wolf

Payne Coat of Arms Sussex

Payne Coat of Arms Sussex, not exact, but pretty close. Instead of these three roses, it should have three golden diamond-shaped charges, with diamond shaped holes. It’s also missing a bordure engrailed of the second, charged with fourteen bezants.

Arns of Payne of Market Bosworth (I finally found from a 1912 book on archive.com

(I finally found from a 1912 book “The Paynes of Hamilton” from Open Library.org )

Anthony Payne was born 1536 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England. His parents were William PAYNE Sr and  Margery ASH,  He married Mary CASTELL in 1564 Newton, Suffolk, England. He lived at Bury St. Edmunds, gentleman, and had the Manor of Nowton, settled upon him by his brother Henry. Anthony died 3 Mar 1606 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England and is buried in the chancel of Nowton church, near his late wife

Martha Castell was born 1539 in Hengrave, Suffolk, England, Her parents were Robert CASTELL (1503 – 1603) and Constance HAWARD. Mary died 28 Jun 1603 in Levenham, Suffolk, England

Children of Anthony and Martha:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Payne Lavenham, Suffolk, England Francis Spring
2. Thomas Payne 25 Jan 1559
16 Jan 1563 Lavenham, Suffolk, England
3. William PAYNE 2 Dec 1565 Lavenham, Suffolk, England Agnes NEVES
28 Dec 1584 Lavenham, Suffolk, England
21 Nov 1648 in Lavenham, Suffolk, England
4. Anne Payne bapt.
13 Jan 1560 Lavenham, Suffolk, England
William Weston

Anthony Paine lived at Bury St. Edmunds, gentleman, and had the Manor of Nowton, settled upon him by his brother Henry.   He left a will dated Feb 16, 1606 , in which he directed his body to be buried in the chancel of Nowton church, near his late wife — gave his house to his son William, also his nest of ” bolls with cover all gilt ” having the arms of the Countess of Oxford upon it,” etc. His wife’s wedding ring he gave to Mary, daughter of Walter Paine,, all the remainder of his estate he gave to his son William, whom he appointed sole executor The Manor of Nowton which Anthony had received by devise from his brother Henry, was by him left to his grandson Anthony , son of John , who had died before his father. This, young Anthony conveyed to his uncle William, who thereby became as he is described in the Visitation ” Lord of the Manor-of Nowton.”

Will of Anthony Payne

Will of Anthony Payne — The Visitation of Suffolke,


1. John Payne

John’s wife Francis Spring was baptized Jan 1558.  Her father was Robert Spring.  Francis was buried 28 Oct 1597 at Nowton, John  was son and heir apparent of his father Anthony, but having died before his father, the descent of property to which he was heir passed to his son Anthony (39), who thus inherited the estate which was devised by Henry (6), to his brother Anthony (12). This included Children of John and Francis

i. Anthony Payne

2. Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine, was bapt. at St. Mary’s Bury, 16 Jan  1568, but was not named in his father’s will, executed Feb 16, 1606, and hence the conclusion that he had died without issue.

3.  William PAYNE (See his page)  I have been told that it has been proven that William Paine of Lavenham was not the son of Anthony Paine of Nowton in both the 1915 Register article as well as the 1925 Register article on the family. The William son of Antony married Elizabeth Sparrow and in 1612 they had only one child, a daughter Ann.


http://miller-aanderson.blogspot.com/2011/07/william-payne-1565-1648.html The Visitation of Suffolke, Volume 2 By William Harvey, England.


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William Payne

William PAYNE (1565 – 1648) was  Alex’s 12th Great Grandfather; one of 8,192 in this generation in the Shaw line.

The Arms of Payne of Hengrave, William’s grandfather: “Argent on a fess engrailed Gules between three martlets Sable, as many mascles or, within a bordure engrailed of the second, charged with fourteen bezants. Crest : a Wolf’s head erased bezantee.”

At first I couldn’t  find a picture that matches this description and made this close approximation

Wolf Crest

Payne Coat of Arms Sussex

Payne Coat of Arms Sussex, not exact, but pretty close. Instead of these three roses, the arms of Payne of Hen grave  should have three golden mascles ( diamond-shaped charges, with diamond shaped holes.)  It’s also missing a bordure engrailed of the second, charged with fourteen bezants (yellow circles or gold coins).

Arns of Payne of Market Bosworth (I finally found from a 1912 book on archive.com

(I finally found from a 1912 book  “The Paynes of Hamilton” from Open Library.org )

William Payne was born 2 Dec 1565 in Lavenham, Suffolk, England. Some say his parents were Anthony PAYNE  and Martha CASTELL,but I have been told  it has been proven that William Paine of Lavenham was not the son of Anthony Paine of Nowton in both the 1915 Register article as well as the 1925 Register article on the family. The William son of Antony married Elizabeth Sparrow and in 1612 they had only one child, a daughter Ann.   Our William married Agnes NEVES 28 Dec 1584 in Lavenham, Suffolk, England.  William died 21 Nov 1648 in Lavenham, Suffolk, England .


William was Lord of the Manor of Nowton from 1606 to 1625  having purchased it from his nephew for 3000.  He  buried inside St James Nowton, a church dating from late Norman times

Agnes Neves was born 1563 in Lavenham, Suffolk, England. Her parents were William NEVES and Agnas [__?__]. Agnes died 8 Oct 1645 in Lavenham, Suffolk, England.

Children of William and Elizabeth:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Elizabeth PAYNE 11 Sep 1586  Nowton Parish Lavenham, Suffolk, England William HAMMOND
9 Jun 1605 Lavenham
14 Sep 1670  Watertown, Mass.
2. Anne Payne 17 Dec 1587  Lavenham, Suffolk, England Richard Nevel
2 Sep 1613 Lavenham
14 Sep 1676 Lavenham, Suffolk, England
3. Judith Payne 22 Jun 1589   Lavenham, Suffolk, England
4. Susan Payne 1 Jan 1591 or 9 Apr 1592 Lavenham, Suffolk, England 9 Oct 1591
5. Jane Payne 1593
Lavenham, Suffolk, England
26 Jul 1594 Lavenham, Suffolk, England
6. Phebe Paine 1 Apr 1594 Lavenham, Suffolk, England John Page
5 Jun 1621  Lavenham, Suffolk, England
25 Sep 1677 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass
7. Richard Payne 20 Feb 1596 Lavenham, Suffolk, England Ann [__?__]
1615 England
Watertown, Middlesex, Mass
8. Dorothy Payne 1598  Lavenham, Suffolk, England Simon Eyre
30 Sep 1615 Lavenham, Suffolk, England
9. William Paine 1598   Nowton, Suffolk, England Anna North
1624 in England
10 Oct 1660 Boston, Mass
10. Frances Payne 20 Jul 1600 Lavenham, Suffolk, England
11. Robert Payne 1601 Lavenham, Suffolk, England Ann Whiting
Hadleigh, Suffolk, England
Dorcas [__?__]
Ipswich, Essex, Mass.

William Payne Lord of the Manor

William Payne was for many years “lord of the manor” of Nowton, Parish Suffolk County, England. and  was a descendant of Sir Thomas Paine, Knight, who lived in Leicester in 1400.  The Paine family  used the same coat of arms after coming to America as the family of William Paine “Lord of the Manor” of Nowton which he bought from his nephew Anthony Paine in 1607 for three thousand pounds.

William Payne, son of Anthony, was baptized at St. Mary’s , Nowton, Bury St. Edmund’s, Suffolk, Eng., 2 Dec 1565. By the will of his father he was devisee of a part of his estate, but being a younger son, he was not heir.

His oldest brother, John, having died previous to his father, his oldest son, Anthony, was heir to his grandfather. As such heir, he inherited from his grand father the Manor of Nowton. This made him “Lord of the Manor,” and such, owner of the advowson of that church, having the right of presentation belonging to that office. Anthony having his estate in 1607, sold the manor and advowson to his uncle William Payne for 3000 pounds, he being then resident William then became “Lord of the Manor”, and as such held his first court there on 6 October 1609, and his last court in 1621, having thus held the manorship 12 years, when he sold out to Sir Daniel de Ligne.

manorial court was the lowest court of law in England during the feudal period. It dealt with matters over which the lord of the manor had jurisdiction, and its powers extended only to those living in the manor or who held land there. Historians have divided manorial courts into those that were primarily seignorial – based on feudal responsibilities – and those based on the delegation of authority from the monarch. There were three types of seignorial court: the court of the honour; the court baron; and the court customary, also known as the halmote court.

Each manor had its own laws promulgated in a document called the custumal, and anyone in breach of those laws could be tried in a manorial court. The earlier Saxon method of trial by ordeal or of compurgation was modified by the Normans into trial by a jury made up of 12 local freemen. The lord or his steward would be the chairman, whilst the parish clerk would write the record on the court rolls.

Periodically all the tenants met at a ‘manorial court’, with the lord of the manor (or squire), or a steward, as chairman. These courts, known as courts baron, dealt with the tenants’ rights and duties, changes of occupancy, and disputes between tenants. Some manorial courts also had the status of a court leet, and so they elected constables and other officials and were effectively Magistrates Courts for minor offences.

An advowson is the right to nominate a person to be parish priest (subject to episcopal approval), and such right was often originally held by the lord of the manor of the principal manor within the parish.  An advowson was regarded as real property and could be bought, sold, or bequeathed; but following reforms of parish administration in the late 19th century it had little commercial value.

Advowsons were valuable assets for a number of reasons, principally as a means for the patron to exert moral influence on the parishioners, who were his manorial tenants, through the teaching and sermons of the parish priest. The manor was a business enterprise, and it was important for its commercial success that all who lived there should live and work in harmony for a common purpose, and should obey the law of the land and of the manorial court. Such a law-abiding attitude could be fostered by a suitable parish priest, and clearly the appointment of a priest who preached against this would be a disaster for the interests of the lord of the manor. An appointment could also be used as a reward for past services rendered to the patron by the appointee. A benefice generally included use of a house, i.e. a vicarageparsonage or rectory, as well as the income from the glebe and tithes, which would provide for the living expenses of the incumbent, and the value of the advowson would thus vary according to how richly endowed the glebe had been out of the lord of the manor‘s manorial lands. Advowsons were frequently exercised by lords as a means of providing a career and income for a younger son who, due to the custom of primogeniture, would not inherit any of the paternal lands. If the father did not already own a suitable advowson, he might purchase one for this purpose. Appointments however were subject to the approval of the Ordinary (usually the bishop of the diocese) who could refuse for good reason although since the Reformation the refusal could be tested in the civil court.

Nowton is a small village and civil parish in the St Edmundsbury district of Suffolk in eastern England. Located on the southern edge of Bury St Edmunds, in 2005 its population was 140.

St Peter’s church, with a good collection of late medieval Flemish glass windows, the Hall and most of the village to the south.

“Of the 150 persons who emigrated at the time William and Phebe Payne, son and daughter of William of Nowton, scarce half a dozen claimed the title of gentleman, or had the prefix, “Mr.” a title which he was readily accorded as the son and heir of one who had been “Lord of the Manor”.

The history and antiquities of Suffolk: Thingoe hundred By John Gage, 1832

The history and antiquities of Suffolk: Thingoe hundred
By John Gage, 1832

Nowton 2
Nowton 3
Nowton 4
Nowton 5
Nowton 6
Nowton 7
Nowton 8
Nowton 9
Nowton 10
Nowton 11
Nowton 12
Nowton 13
Nowton 14
Nowton 15
Nowton 16
Nowton 17
Nowton 18
Nowton 19

Lavenham where William Payn and his children were born, is a village and civil parish in Suffolk 7 miles north of Newton.   It is noted for its 15th century church, half-timbered medieval cottages and circular walk. In the medieval period it was among the 20 wealthiest settlements in England

Before the Norman Conquest, the manor of Lavenham had been held by the thegn Ulwin or Wulwine. In 1086 the estate was in the possession of Aubrey de Vere I, ancestor of theEarls of Oxford. He had already had a vineyardplanted there. The Vere family continued to hold the estate until 1604, when it was sold to Sir Thomas Skinner.

Lavenham prospered from the wool trade in the 15th and 16th century, with the town’s blue broadcloth being an export of note. During the 16th century Lavenham industry was badly affected by Dutch refugees settled in Colchester who produced cloth that was cheaper and lighter than Lavenham’s, and also more fashionable,  ]The most successful of the cloth making families were the Springs.

The town’s wealth can be seen in the lavishly constructed parish church of St Peter and St Paul which stands on a hill top at the end of the main high street. The church is excessively large for the size of the village and with a tower standing 141 ft  high it lays claim to being the highest village church tower in Britain. The church is renowned for its Late-Gothic chantries and screens.

During the reign of Henry VIII, Lavenham was the scene of serious resistance to Wolsey’s ‘Amicable Grant’, a tax being raised in England to pay for war with France. However, it was being done so without the consent of parliament. In 1525, 10,000 men from Lavenham and the surrounding villages took part in a serious uprising which threatened to spread to the nearby counties of Essex and Cambridgeshire. However, the revolt was suppressed for the King by the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, with the aid of local families.

The Guildhall of the wool guild of Corpus Christi stands in the center of the village overlooking the market square. Established in 1529, most of the timber framed building seen today was constructed in the 17th century and is now maintained by The National Trust.


1. Elizabeth PAYNE (See William HAMMOND‘s page)

2. Anne Payne

Anne’s husband Richard Neves (Nevel, Reve) was born 1587 in Lavenham, Suffolk, England.

6. Phebe Payne

Phebe’s husband John Page was baptized 25 Sep 1586 in Boxted, Essex, England.  His parents may have been Richard or Robert Page and Frances Mudge or Robert Page and Susanna Syckerling.  John died 18 Dec 1676 in Watertown, Mass.

Phebe arrived with Winthrop Fleet in the Great Migration of 1630.

At 44 years of age, John Page was living in Dedham, Essex, England, with his wife Phoebe Paine (Payne) and their three children, William, Phoebe, and Daniel. He, considering the conditions in England and fired by the thought of freedom and opportunity for himself and his growing family, closed his affairs in the mother country , embarked with his wife and children upon the ship “Jewel“, one of the fleet under the leadership of Gov. John Winthrop. They left the port of Yarmouth, Eng., on April 8, 1630 and landed at Salem, MA. Shortly after, they moved to the peninsula which is now occupied by the city of Boston. The colonists were dissatisfied with the soil there for farming purposes and many members of the colony moved to Watertown, seven miles west of Boston, where he was a well-to-do yeoman. He was constable of that town in 1630. In those days, in order to start a fire in one’s own fire place, one would watch a neighbor’s chimney, and where there was smoke, to that place he would go for a hot coal. Perhaps it was one of the children who had been sent on this errand, but whoever it may have been, he dropped the coal in the dry leaves and the house was burned on April 21, 1631, whereby John suffered severely.

In 1662 he was one of a group of Watertown men who settled the town of Groton, where he was one of the early selectmen. After the burning of Groton in Philip’s War of 1675, he returned to Watertown. Here John lived until his death December 18, 1676, at the age of 90 years.  His inventory included a “Bible and two other small books” valued at 12s. His wife Phoebe died at Watertown, MA, Sept. 25, 1677, aged 87 years.

John Page Timeline [From: Great Migration Begins]

19 Oct 1630 – Requested to be Freeman of Watertown

19 Oct 1630 – Chosen constable for Watertown

9 Nov 1630 – Member of Trial Jury where our ancestor Walter PALMER was acquitted of murder.

Nov 1630 – In a letter to John Winthrop Jr., John Rogers, vicar of Dedham, Essex, reports that

“this day I have received so lamentable a letter from one John Page late of Dedham that hath his wife and 2 children there and he certifies me that unless God stirring some friends to send him some provision he is like to starve”;

As a result, Rogers donated 20s. to buy meal for the family. Dedham, Essex, is a parish adjacent to Boxted where records of this Page family are found. The two children who came to New England with John Page are apparently Phebe and John.

21 Apr 1631 –  “The house of John Page of Watertown was burnt by carrying a few coals from one house to another: a coal fell by the way and kindled in the leaves”

18 May 1631 – Admitted Freeman of Watertown

25 July 1636 – Granted fifty acres in the Great Dividend in Watertown

28 Feb 1636/37 – Granted thirteen acres in the Beaverbrook Plowland

26 Jun 1637 – Granted thirteen acres in the Remote Meadows

4 Dec 1638 – “Isack Sternes & John Page were fined 5s. for turning the way about, & day was given till the next Court”

In the Watertown Inventory of Grants John Page was credited with five parcels of land: three acre homestall; thirteen acres plowland in the Further Plain [Beaverbrook Plowlands]; thirteen acres in the Remote Meadows; fifty acres in the Great Dividend; and three acres meadow

In the Inventory of Possessions he held six parcels, and in the Composite Inventory the same six parcels: forty acre homestall (originally a Great Dividend lot, purchased of Edward Howe); twenty acres upland (part of a Great Dividend lot, purchased of John Coolidge); eighteen acres of meadow in Plain Meadow (eight acres purchased of Edward Howe, six of Robert Feake and four of Simon Stone); four acres meadow at Beaver Brook (purchased of William Jennison); seventy acres of upland, being a Great Dividend Lot (purchased of Simon Stone); and thirty-five acres of upland, being a Great Dividend lot (purchased of John Smith)

John Page took an unusual approach to the Watertown land granting process. As shown by the Inventory of Grants, he received the usual sequence of land grants down to 1637, when he had his share of the Remote Meadows, but he did not share in any later grants. About 1637 or 1638 he apparently sold off all these parcels which came directly to him from the town, for in the various inventories of Watertown land three of the five parcels appear in the hands of John Biscoe and one in the hands of Michael Barstow. The fate of the homestall is unknown, but this was certainly sold as well, and as this parcel carried with it the proprietary rights in future divisions, John Page did not receive a Farm in 1642.

In the Composite Inventory, which showed landholding as of about 1644, Page held only parcels of land that he had bought from others, and these were almost all in the Great Dividend, close to one another but some way from the center of town. Since Page received thirteen acres in the Beaverbrook Plowlands and in the Remote Meadows, and since his family had at most five members at this time, he must have had considerable wealth in cattle. Combine this with his virtual absence from town affairs, and the occasional rebuke for antisocial behavior, and one has the picture of a man of some substance who was attempting to withdraw from society, build his own little empire, and interact as little as possible with authority.

4 Nov 1646 – With others, he pled poverty to be excused from paying a 14s. 5d. fine, but the court, understanding that some of those pleading were “of good ability,” considered the matter closely

6 Apr 1658 – John Page of Watertown and Phebe his wife sold to Isaac Mixture of Watertown seventy acres of land, being a dividend, lying in Watertown, also seven acres of remote meadow in the third lot.

26 Feb 1652/53 –  John Page of Watertown and Phebe his wife sold to Joseph Child of Watertown “one small tenement” in Watertown containing one dwelling house and four acres of land

May 1665 – The Watertown selectmen ordered several persons, including “old Goodman Page & his wife,” to attend the next selectmen’s meeting “to answer for not attending their seats in the meetinghouse appointed them by the town”

16 Feb 1676/77 – The inventory of the estate of John Page of Watertown “who died about the 19th December 1676” was taken  and was untotalled but included real estate valued at £50: “half a dwelling house with about twelve acres of plain and four acres of meadow £50

The settlement of the estate witnessed a bitter dispute pitting John, the eldest son, against Samuel Page and James Cutler. Cutler (husband of daughter Phebe Page) and Samuel Page claimed that John kept the estate entirely to himself and refused to make a division. The court ruled in favor of John, finding the estate to be his.

Children of Phebe and John of Laverham

Page vs. Page 167\8 — Divided We Stand: Watertown, Massachusetts, 1630-1680 By Roger Thompson

Page Family 2

Page Family 3
Page Family 4

i. William Page? b. 1619 Dedham Dedham, Essex, England; d. 9 Dec 1664 in Watertown, Middlesex,Mass.; m. Hannah [__?__]

ii. Susanna Page b. 1622 Lavenham, Suffolk, England; d. 24 Jan 1680/81 in Boston, Mass.; m. Apr 1636 to Thomas Gleason ( b. ~1620 – )

iii. Hannah Page b. 1623 Lavenham, Suffolk, England; d. 20 Jun 1633 Watertown, Mass.

iv. Phoebe Page b. 1624 Dedham, Essex, England; d. 17 May 1694 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass; m. ~1661 Watertown as his third wife to  the much older James Cutler (b. 21 May 1605 in Sprowston, Suffolk, England – d.  17 Jul 1694 in Lexington, Middlesex, Mass)

2 Apr 1650 – At the court  Phebe Page sued John Flemming and his wife for slanderously saying that she was with child. This case illustrated a family at odds with itself; with the depositions of over twenty neighbors, it seemed that the entire town was talking about them [Pulsifer 1:6-8].

Flemming defended himself and said that his words were based on “the common practice of Phebe Page, & the report of her own friends.” “John Spring being on the watch on Saturday night after midnight testified that he met John Poole & Phebe Page together, and he asking them why they were so late, she answered because she could dispatch her business no sooner & he said he went with her because he lived with her father.”

Anthony White also witnessed that “Phebe Page said she must either marry within a month or run the country or lose her wits,” and also that “Phebe Page said my mother I can love and respect, but my father I cannot love.”

William Parker deposed that, having “much discourse with Phebe’s mother, she wished her daughter had never seen Poole for she was afraid she was with child.”

White advised her to return to her father’s house again and “she answered no, before I will do so I will go into wilderness as far as I can & lie down and die.”

Perce witnessed that “Goodman Page coming to his house said thus that what with his wife and daughter, he was afraid they would kill him, and constantly affirmed the same.”

Goody Mixture testified that “old Page said if she knew as much as he, Phebe deserved to be hanged.”

Parker again testified “he living at Long Island & Phebe Page there also, she would not keep the house one night, but kept a young man company, and they were both whipped for it by the magistrates’ order there, also that she confessed” and both were censured.

Joseph Tainter said “he was informed by one that lived at Long Island that Phebe Page confessed herself she had carnal copulation with a young man at the Island.”

Phebe withdrew her action, and the Court granted the defendant costs £2 4s. 6d. John Page Senior confessed a judgment of the costs of Court against his daughter.

v. Daniel Page b. 1626 Lavenham, England; d. 1 Aug 1634 in Watertown, MA ( The county copy of this record reports this as a birth rather than a burial creating some confusion)

vi. John Page b. 1 Jan 1630 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass.; d. 1711 in Watertown, Mass; m1.  12 May 1664 in Groton, Middlesex, Mass. to Faith Dunster (b. 7 Mar 1640/41 in Bury, Lancaster Co, England – d. 3 Apr 1699); m2. 3 Sep 1699 to Emory Lamb

John Page Jr.  removed to Groton in 1662 and returned to Watertown in 1675 after the burning of Groton,  as shown by the births of his children in Groton in the late 1660s and early 1670s.

James Knapp deposed in 1678 about working with John Page Jr. at Piscataqua, as many Watertown men of the second generation did, and how young John redeemed a mortgaged piece of John Sr.’s land.   John Hammond deposed that “being at my Uncle Page’s house my Aunt Page was very importunate with my Uncle to give Samuel Page a piece of land and my Uncle Page’s answer was `Thou knowest it was mortgaged and my son John Page hath redeemed it and it is his'”.

John Page Jr. submitted his account of things he had done for his father when the younger John was a single man, having managed his estate for ten years except about five months when he was in Long Island, and about a fortnight “to help James Cutler when his house was burnt”

vi. Samuel Page, b. 20 Aug 1633 in Watertown, MA; d. 1691 in Watertown, MA; m. ~1668 Watertown to Hannah Dane (b. 8 Mar 1645/46 in Concord, Middlesex, Mass. – )  Hannah’s father was John Dane of Concord.

viii Roger Page?  b. 1635 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass; d. ~1691 Watertown; m. Hannah [__?_]

ix. Edward Page b. 1637 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass

x. Robert Page b. 1638 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass

xi. Joseph Page b. 1639 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass

xii. David Page b. 1641 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass

xiii. Elizabeth Page?  b. 1643 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass

xiv Mary Page? b. 1645 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass

Some sources claim that John Page had daughters Elizabeth and Mary living in 1660, but the evidence for this is not seen [NEHGR 101:242, 245, 105:26].

8. Dorothy Payne

Dorothy’s husband Simon Eyre was born 1587 in Lavenham, Suffolk, England. His parents were Simon Aires (1557 – 1637) and Susan Vale (1559 – 1637) Simon died 10 Nov 1658 in Boston, Mass.

The Increase  left London, England April 1635 with her master, Robert Lea, arriving in Massachusetts Bay.    The families of Simon Ayres and William Payne sailed together with 17 family members in all.

April 15, 1635 – Certificate source not given.
#32 Ayres Symon 48, chirurgion  [(archaic) a surgeon]
#94 (From Laverham, Suffolk, bound for Watertown. Ref: NEGR 69/250 36 pg 157) Ayres Dorothy 38, wife of Symon
#95 Ayres Marie 15, child of Symon
#96 Ayres Thomas 13, child of Symon
#97 Ayres Symon 11, child of Symon
#98 Ayres Rebecca 9, child of Symon
#99 Ayres Christian 7, child of Symon
#108 Ayres Anna 5, child of Symon
#109 Ayres Benjamin 3, child of Symon
#110 Ayres Sara 3 mos, child of Symon

Children of Dorothy and Simon

i.  Mary Ayers b. 1620 in England;

The Mary Ayres (b. 16200) that married William Fellows (b. 22 Oct 1609 in London, England – d. 29 Nov 1676 in Ipswich, Mass) had unknown parents.  (See John AYRES ‘ page)

ii. Thomas Ayers b. 1622 in England

iii. Simon Eyre b. 1624 in England; d. 10 Aug 1653 Boston; m. Lydia Starr (b. 22 Mar 1634 in Ashford, Kent, England – d. 10 Jun 1653 in Boston) Simon and Lydia had one child Simon (b. 1652).

iv. Rebecca Ayers b. 1626 in England; d. Watertown, Mass.; m. 1647 in Watertown to Christopher Clark (b. 1628 in England – d. Boston. Mass.) Rebecca and Christopher had five children born between 1650 and 1667.

v. Christian Eyre b. 1628 in England; d. 1669 in Boston, Mass.; m. 1655 Boston to Anthony Stoddard (b. 1600 in Edinborough, Scotland – d. 16 Mar 1686 in Boston) Anthony’s parents were
Anthony Stoddard (1572 – 1637) and  Alice Martin (1582 – 1604).  Anthony first married 16 Jul 1639 in Boston to Mary Downing. (b.  1619 in London, England. – d. 16 Jun 1647 Boston, from birth complications of her third child Simeon).  Mary’s parents were Emanuel Downing and Anne Ware and her grandparents were George DOWNING and  Dorcas BELLAMY.  Not wasting any time, he next married 24 Aug 1647 in Boston to Barbara, widow of Capt. Joseph Weld ( – 15 Apr 1655) and had two more children.

Christian and Anthony had ten children born between 1656 and 1669. Christian may have died in the birth of her last child.

Some of his descendants were: Rev. Solomon Stoddard, over forty years pastor of historic North Hampton Congregational Church and first librarian of Harvard. Made sea voyage to Barbadoes. Aaron Burr, Vice President of the United States, whose daughter Theodosia married Mr. Alston and was lost off the coast of the Carolinas; Amos Stoddard, acting governor of Louisiana; Jonathan Edwards, famous theologian.

vi. Anna Ayers b. 1630 in England; d. 1685 in Boston,

vii. Benjamin Ayers b. 1632 in England; d. 14 Nov 1714

viii. Sarah Ayers b. Jan 1635 in England; d. 1685 in Boston  The Sarah Ayers that married William LAMSON in 1640 in Ipswich, Mass. was born about 1621 in England.  I’m still trying to find out who her parents were.

ix. Jonathan Ayers b. 27 Mar 1637 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass.

x. Dorothy Ayers b. 4 Jun 1640 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass.

9. William Payne

William’s wife Anna North was born in 1595 in England. Anna’s parents may have been Henry North (1581 – 1654) and Sarah Jennor (1582 – ). Anna died 1660 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.

The Increase  left London, England April 1635 with her master, Robert Lea, arriving in Massachusetts Bay.    The families of  William Payne and Simon Ayres sailed together with 17 family members in all.

April 15, 1635 – Certificate source not given.
#69 Payne William 22, husbandman  (should be age 42, Anna’s  age is right)
70 Payne Anna 40, wife of William
71 Payne William 10, child of William
72 Payne Anna 5, child of William
73 Payne Jo. 3, child of William
74 Payne Daniel 8 wks, child of William
75 Bitton James 27
76 Potter William 25
77 Wood Elizabeth 38
78 Beardes Elizabeth 24
79 Payne Susan 11

William Paine, with his wife, Anna, and five children, left London in April, 1635, for New England, sailing in the ship “Increase.” He landed at Boston, Mass., and set out at once for Watertown, where we find his name recorded as early as July 25, 1636.

Within a few years he removed to Ipswich, and was admitted a freeman, May 13, 1640. He resided there about fifteen years, and then removed to Boston, where he died, October 10, 1660.

Mr. Paine was one of the leading men of his time in New England. He was on terms of intimate acquaintance with the Winthrops, and other distinguished men both in his own Colony and Connecticut. A man of wide experience, and excellent judgment, he was frequently selected to serve on important committees, and to settle disputes concerning boundary lines between several towns in Massachusetts. He was an active merchant, and one of the earliest of the colonists to recognize the importance of home manufactures.

While at Watertown, he had acquired a controlling interest in Governor Dudley’s Mill on the Charles River. This he operated as a “fulling mill” until his death. In 1641, the town of Ipswich granted him permission to build a wharf for his warehouse. He assisted in establishing the iron works at Lynn, Beverly, and Newbury, and gave them his financial support.  He was proprietor of the Saugus Ironworks at Lynn.  He also operated the lead mines at Sturbridge.

He was deeply interested in extending the settlements of the English in Western Massachusetts, and was a member of a company incorporated in 1645 for this purpose, and known as the “Free Adventurers.”

Mr. Paine, after his removal to Boston, continued a prosperous mercantile business, possessing extensive headquarters there and at Piscatauqua.

Both William Paine, and his brother, Robert, were men of public spirit. While at Ipswich, they aided in establishing the free school there, and in their wills, made pecuniary provisions for its support, as well as gifts of land. In all his business ventures, William Paine seems to have been successful. He acquired a fortune for the times in which he lived, and died leaving an estate of more than £4,200.

Nation’s Oldest Charitable Trust

Huffington Post Feb 12 2012 –  With only eight days to live, a wealthy, ailing Massachusetts merchant wrote in his will 351 years ago that he was leaving a spectacular 35-acre seafront property for the benefit of public school children, decreeing the land should never be sold or wasted.

The dying wish of William Payne, one of the state’s earliest settlers, created the nation’s oldest charitable trust and eventually led tenants to build 167 cottages — most of them used by summer vacationers — on the land he left for the seaside city of Ipswich. The rent money has generated some $2.4 million to help fund public schools over the last 25 years.

Now, the trustees want to tear up the will, convert the property into condominiums and sell them to the tenants to settle a 2006 lawsuit filed by the tenants over rent increases. But hundreds of Ipswich residents have gone to court to block the settlement, saying it violates the sacred intent of Payne’s will and shortchanges the schools.

The Massachusetts Appeals Court is considering whether to nullify the settlement and is scheduled to hear arguments in the case March 2.

The residents contend that while independent appraisals show the value of the land is an average of about $41 million, the agreement sets a sale price of nearly $32 million. They also say that the settlement also denies public schools the benefit of rising land value that occurs over the long term and that could help them collect higher rents.

Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose office enforces laws governing public charities, is supporting the settlement approved by a probate court judge in December, saying that the trust is no longer able to carry out Payne’s wishes.

Mark Swirbalus, who represents opponents of the settlement, said the case sends a “troubling message” because it shows the intent of someone setting up a trust could be trampled and the rights of beneficiaries could easily be compromised in decisions that do not protect their best interest.

“In short, the agreement to sell the land, and the court’s approval of this agreement, seem to have been done for the sake of expedience, regardless of William Payne’s intent and Massachusetts law,” Swirbalus said.

Residents seeking to block the deal have accused trustees of mismanagement, operating in secrecy and making sporadic and small payments to public schools for years long before the tenants sued over the rent. Disputes over wastewater and other necessary improvement to the land also fueled complaints against the trustees, formally known as Feoffees of the Ipswich Grammar School.

“The fundamental problem in all this is there are a lot of different opinions in town as to whether the trustees are sort of willfully evil or just incompetent,” said Douglas DeAngelis, an Ipswich parent and one of the 14 people seeking to join the lawsuit. “But, at the end of the day, you have a $40 million asset that’s never been professionally managed.”

Payne’s land gift was intended to help Ipswich comply with a 1647 colonial law that required communities with more than 100 families to set up a grammar school to prepare students for admission to “the College at Cambridge” — a reference in his will to Harvard College, founded in 1636 with a mission to prepare young men for the ministry.

The second paragraph of Payne’s handwritten will declares in flourishing script: “I giue vnto the free scoole of lpswitch, the little neck of land alt Ipswitch, commonly knowne by the name of Jeferrys neeck. The which is to bee, and remaine, to the benifitt of the said scoole of Ipswitch, for euer, as I haue formerly Intended, and therefore the sayd land not to bee sould nor wasted.”

Ed Cafasso, a spokesman for the sale opponents, said the plaintiffs are not only contesting the probate court ruling, but also contend that Coakley “failed to investigate evidence of the charity’s mismanagement,” including the fact that so little money has been distributed to the schools over the years as well as previous instances in which trustees rented cottages they were managing — leaving them with little incentive to set rents at market value.

The attorney general’s office, however, on Friday defended its decision to support the land sale, saying the trust had become ineffective in serving its stated purpose of aiding Ipswich schools.

“The settlement terms … comply with charities law and achieve two important goals: First, they restore a much needed revenue stream for the Ipswich schools consistent with William Payne’s wishes and ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of his gift in the future,” Brad Puffer, spokesman for Coakley, said in a statement.

“Second, they provide for a publicly appointed board to govern the trust that will be created with proceeds from the sale of the Little Neck land,” Puffer said. “This change will enhance public accountability and transparency for the trust going forward.”

Trustee Peter Foote, who manages affairs on behalf of other trustees, declined to comment.

Attorney William Sheehan, who represents the trustees, said the settlement represents the best option in efforts to ensure that Ipswich schools continue to receive funding from Payne’s dying wish.

Suggestions that the trustees have mismanaged the land “and this notion of ‘no, we are better off if the property is rented'” ignores the fact that the settlement shifts to condo owners the burden of about $1 million required to fix significant erosion problem that occurred on the land in 2007, Sheehan said.

The settlement also eliminates the uncertainty created by a potential liability from the 2006 lawsuit that tenants filed to block the trustees from evicting them from their cottages for refusing to pay higher rents, Sheehan said.

Cottages on Little Neck, Ipswich, Mass

167 Cottages on Little Neck, Ipswich, Mass were built on land William Payne left to a charitable trust  to help fund public schools

Salem News Aug 16 2012  –   The trustees known as the Feoffees have sold Little Neck to the peninsula’s tenants for $31.4 million, the latest move in a controversy that has divided the town.  The sale, which closed Friday, officially dissolved the country’s oldest community land trust and created a new trust that starts with an endowment of $24.9 million.

The money will be used to benefit the Ipswich public schools, which was the intention of the original land trust created by William Payne upon his death in 1660.  “Twenty-five million dollars — that’s a lot of reasons to be very pleased that this will turn out well for the kids,” School Committee Chairman Hugh O’Flynn said.

But residents opposed to the sale say the 351-year-old trust should never have been broken and that the land was sold for less than it’s worth.  Their group, Ipswich Citizens for Public Trust, plans to file a request with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to take the case, member Douglas DeAngelis said.

DeAngelis said the sale of the land “blatantly disregards” the intent of William Payne. The proceeds from the sale of about $25 million are far less than its assessed value of $40.6 million, he said. And costs to the town could go up because more residents will now be allowed to live year-round on Little Neck, resulting in higher school costs.

“It’s a triple whammy,” he said.   The schools will receive $800,000 per year for the first three years under the terms of the sale, with future payments to be determined by a new governing board, known as the New Feoffees.

The schools had not been receiving any money from the Feoffees since 2006, when a legal dispute between the trustees and the Little Neck tenants over rent increases set in motion the circumstances that led to Friday’s land sale.

DeAngelis said the land could’ve produced much more income for the schools through the tenants’ rent money if the trust proceeds were managed professionally. The tenants own their cottages but were paying rent for the land.  “In 351 years of the trust, we’ve never had professionals managing the land asset,” he said. “Let’s give it a try before we go and stick a stake through the heart of the trust.”

The Feoffees went to court in 2009 to seek permission to break the trust and sell 35-acre Little Neck to the tenants in order to settle a lawsuit over rent increases. Last December, the School Committee voted 4-3 to authorize a sale.

O’Flynn said the School Committee will not spend any of the trust money until a spending policy has been established and all legal proceedings are finished.  “We’re going to be very serious and deliberate about any use of those funds,” he said.

The deal that closed on Friday transfers ownership of 166 land parcels on Little Neck to the peninsula’s tenants and converts the cottages and land to condominium units.

The governing board known as the New Feoffees has seven members, including two each appointed by the School Committee, Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen and one appointed by the old Feoffees.

The settlement calls for the trust to pay off nearly $6 million in outstanding debts that were borrowed by the old Feoffees for a wastewater treatment facility.   The trust must also pay $575,000 in legal fees incurred by the School Committee in the dispute over the matter, and about $225,000 for legal and accounting costs incurred by the New Feoffees in its oversight of the sale process.    The sale agreement also deducted $8.3 million in Feoffees-financed mortgages that buyers had the option to take out. The monthly interest payments from borrowers will be incorporated into the trust assets to benefit the schools.

“We did our best to do the due diligence and help the sale go through properly, and we’re looking forward to working as the new trust and doing as much as we can to benefit the schools of Ipswich,” said Tracy Filosa, one of the New Feoffees.

The new trust fund has committed to paying the schools $800,000 per year for the next three years. Filosa said the trustees will determine future payments based on market returns and other factors.   “It’s a bit of a moving target at the moment,” she said. “It won’t be as high as $800,000. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working on a projection.”

Filosa said the New Feoffees will be “as transparent as possible.” The old Feoffees were criticized for operating in secret and a lack of accountability.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com..

William hoped his land trust would last forever.

William hoped his land trust would last forever. “Forever” is written across the bottom of the picture in William Paine’s handwriting.

Children of William and Anna:

i. Susan Paine b. 1624 in Suffolk, England; d. 1660 Mass.

ii. William Payne b. 1625 in Suffolk, England; d. 11 Jan 1683 New Haven, New Haven, CT; m. 1645 in New Haven to Mary Edwards (b. 1615 in Postslade, Sussex, England – d. 7 Dec 1693 in Connecticut) Mary’s parents were John Edwards (1584 – 1654) and Elizebeth Whitffeld (1588 – 1658) William and Mary had three children born between 1645 and 1648.

iii. Hannah Paine b. 1627 in Nowton, Suffolk, England; d. 1656 Ipswich, Essex, Mass; m. 2 Apr 1651 in Boston to Maj. Samuel Appleton (b. 1625 in Little Waldingfield, Suffolk, England – d. 15 May 1696 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.) His parents were Samuel Appleton (b. 13 Aug 1586 Little Waldingfield, Suffolk, England – d. Jun 1670 Rowley, Mass) and Judith Everard (1587 – 1629) The Appletons probably came to New England in 1636 with the Nathaniel Rogers Company. Samuel was frequently a judge for the Essex Co. Quarterly Court.

Hannah and Samuel had three children born between 1652 and 1654. After Hannah died, Samuel married 8 Dec 1656 in Newbury, Essex, Mass to Mary Oliver (b. 7 Jun 1640 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. – d. 15 Feb 1698 in Ipswich) Samuel and Mary had five more children born between 1660 and 1677.

Samuel Appleton 1

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts … By Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County), George Francis Dow

Samuel was a man of the highest reputation in civilian and military service. Representative in 1668 and often after to 1681, when he was made an Assistant by an annual election, continued in that rank until the time of the overthrow of the charter government 1686. In 1675, he had command of all the Mass. forces on the Connecticut River, and late in the season when succeeded by Major Savage in that quarter, was transferred to the expedition against Narraganset for the bloody and decisive action of 19 December (See my post Great Swamp Fight – Regiments). Resolute in the support of the liberties of the people of unlawful taxation in 1687, he was imprisoned by Andros and hardly released. In the new charter of William and Mary 1691, he was made one of the Council, though by the popular vote left out the following year.

In early September 1675 Captain Appleton was given command of a foot company totaling 100 men. He marched to Hadley, Mass. arriving around September 6th.On October 5, 1675 the Indians attacked Springfield destroying about 30 houses and other property including Major Pynchon’s, the army commander, mills and several of his houses and barns. After the destruction of his property and not feeling that he could properly maintain command, Major Pynchon asked to resign his post. This request was granted and on October 12th and Captain Appleton assumed command of all the forces in the Connecticut River area. He held this command until he was ordered home with his men on November 24. When the troops mustered on Dedham Plain on December 9, 1675 for the start of the Naragansett campaign, Major Samuel Appleton was given command of the Massachusetts regiment while also commanding the First Foot Troop. Soon after the battle of Narragansett Major Appleton retired from his protracted and arduous service from the field. On the 19th of October, 1676, the Court appointed him to command an expedition to Pascataqua; but he probably declined, as the order was rescinded on October 23rd.

He was reelected deputy in 1676, and subsequently, except 1678, until 1681, when he was chosen Assistant, and remained in that office till the coming in of the Andros government in 1686. He was proscribed by Sir Edmund’s officer, Randolph, as one of the ‘factious.’ He was arrested on the general complaint of being ‘evil disposed and seditious,’ October 19th 1687, and refusing to submit and give bonds for his good behavior, was committed to Boston jail, where he kept many months till his age and increasing infirmities forced a reluctant submission, and he was set at liberty, March 7, 1688.

iv. John Paine b. 1632 in England; d. 1675 Mass; m. Mar 1659 in Boston to Sarah Parker (b. 8 Jul 1641 in Boston, Mass. – d. 1675) Her parents were Richard Parker (1617 – 1673) and Ann [__?__] (1620 – 1651) John and Sarah had four children born between 1660 and 1664.

John was three years old when he accompanied his parents to America. He resided many years in Boston, and carried forward the enterprise begun by his father. He was active in promoting commerce, and received large grants of land for his service in seeking open navigation of the Hudson river and for other public services. These lands were on the Hudson river.

Fort Amsterdam is the large quadrangular structure towards the tip of the island.

Fort Amsterdam is the large quadrangular structure towards the tip of the island.

John’s service to the English government in rebuilding Fort James, at the foot of Manhattan Island, secured him great favor with the local governor and the powers at home, in expression of which he was made sole owner and governor for life of Prudence Island, in Naragansett Bay, with courts and other machinery of a free state, in which religion was made free.

Fort Amsterdam (subsequently named Fort JamesFort Willem Hendrick, Fort James (again), Fort WilliamFort Anne and Fort George) was a fort on the southern tip of Manhattan that was the administrative headquarters for the Dutch and then British rule of New York from 1625 until being torn down in 1790 after the Revolution.  Guns at the fort formed the original battery that is today called Battery Park (New York).

Prudence Island, shown in red, in the inner part of Narragansett Bay

Prudence Island, shown in red, in the inner part of Narragansett Bay

This grant was alleged to conflict with previous Indian grants, and he was arrested by the Rhode Island authorities and convicted of setting up a foreign government, but was allowed his liberty on giving up his claim. He died at sea in 1675. It is probable that he lost his property in litigation, as no record of an estate is found.

The Narragansetts originally offered Prudence Island for sale to John Oldham if he would settle there and set up a trading post. Oldham failed to meet the condition, so in 1637 the Narragansetts sold the island to Roger Williams and John Winthrop with each man retaining a one-half interest. Williams and Winthrop hoped to farm pigs on the island. Williams named the island “Prudence” and shortly afterwards purchased and named nearby Patience Island and Hope Island. Williams sold his half interest in Prudence Island while in England on behalf of the colony, and Winthrop willed his land to his son Stephen.

v. Daniel Paine b. 1635 in Suffolk, England; d. 10 Oct 1660  Mass

11. Robert Payne

Robert’s wife Ann Whiting was born in 1603 in Hadleigh, Suffolk, England.   Her parents were John Whiting (1577 – ) and Ruby Jolly (1581 – ) Anne died in 1641 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.

Robert Payne emigrated to America with his wife, Ann, in 1640. He settled in Ipswich, and was one of the persons to whom the Legislature made a grant of land “with leave to settle a village there.” He was admitted freeman 2 June 1641, and continued to live there until his death. His wife Ann having died, he married a second wife, Dorcas______, whom he survived two or three years.

He was a man of much usefulness and importance in his day, and one who was almost constantly called to the performance of public and private trusts. Being a man of good estate, he was liberal in its use, and thus made himself to be regarded as a public benefactor as well as a useful citizen. To such an extent was this the case, that the local historial of the time wrote of him as a “right Godly man, and one whose estate hath helpen on well the work of this little Commonwealth.” He sustained the principal offices of the town, was one of its original corporators, and feoffee of the Free or Grammer school, towards the establishment and endowment of which he was a most liberal and active party. He was the ruling elder in the first church of the place, and as the historian of Ipswich relates, “his profession and office were adorned by a life of active, exemplary usefulness.”

In 1647, 48 and 49, he was deputy to the General Court, was on the committee of trade in 1655, and held the office of county treasurer from 1665 until he resigned just before his death in 1683

Children of Robert and Ann:

i. Robert Paine b. 1627 in Newton, Suffolk, England; d. Dec 1693 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass; m.  10 Jun 1666 to Elizabeth Reiner (b .1646 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass – ) Elizabeth’s parents were William Rayner (1615 – 1672) and Elizabeth Gilbert (1617 – 1676) Robert and Elizabeth had five children born between 1660 and 1684.

Robert Payne, Jr., graduated at Harvard University in the class of 1656, and studied for the ministry. Whether or not he actually practiced his profession does not certainly appear, but Felt speaks of him as “a preacher.”

Many genealogies state Mr. Payne was he foreman of the Grand Jury that found all the indictments for witchcraft at Salem, but as far as I can tell,  he became foreman in Jan 1693 and only returned findings of “Ignoramus   [The legal definition of this word is uninformed.   It is written on a bill by a grand jury, when they find that there is not sufficient evidence to authorize their finding it a true bill. Sometimes, instead of using this word, the grand jury endorse on the bill, “Not found.”]  (See my post Witch Trials – Jury)

For an example see the Original Document from the University of Virginia Library (Indictment v. Sarah Cloyce , No. 1)

Robert Payne Signature to

Robert Payne’s finding of Ignoramus and Signature to Sarah Cloyes 1st indictment

Thee is reason to believe that he was not an active prosecutor of the accused, or if at any time he was so, he changed his mind before his death and took measures to allay the delusion.

An Aug 9 1692 letter  to  Jonathan Corwin, one of the trial judges, signaled the end of the Salem hysteria.  Most historians think the letter was written by Robert Pike, son-in-law of our ancestor Joseph MOYCE  (See my post Witch Trial Supporters

Robert Pike had a long history of opposing religious tyranny, for example, denouncing the law forbidding to preach if not Ordained in 1655, but the actual letter just contains the initials “RP” and the name Robert Payne was added later in a different hand, so an early record keeper thought this Robert wrote it.  Here is a detailed discussion of who wrote the letter and here is another.

The letter is a tightly reasoned attack upon the use of spectral evidence and the testimony of the ‘afflicted girls’ in general. While the author, like all Puritans, believed witches and witchcraft existed and were the work of Satan, he was questioning the current methods of the court in determining credibility and guilt.   The letter makes several points:

  • Citing 1st Samuel xxviii 13, 14: Any person, virtuous or not, may be in truth a witch.
  • A poor reputation does not suggest or substantiate guilt (as with Sarah Good).
  • Satan is capable of presenting anyone’s specter to a tormented person (not only a witch’s specter).
  • How can it be known if Satan acts with or without the permission of any specific (accused) person.
  • It is completely contrary to a witch’s well-being for them to practice witchcraft within a courtroom.
  • It is likewise contrary for witches to accuse others of witchcraft (as was the case), as “they are all part of Satan’s kingdom, which would fall, if divided against itself”.

It is not known just how the letter was received, since there is no written response, but with it he became one of the first of several prominent men to question the handling of the witchcraft crisis. Within a few weeks Thomas Brattle and Samuel Willard of Boston wrote their own manuscripts, using some of the same arguments Pike had documented. By October of 1692 the activity of the courts was greatly diminished, the executions had ended, and the witchcraft crisis was effectively over.

Payne House

Payne House

1694 –  Robert Jr. constructed a farm house along the salt marshes of Jeffery’s Neck on land his father received in a land grant in 1640.  Today, the house is a  a First Period museum, part of Greenwood Farm – an historic property and nature reserve located in Ipswich, Massachusetts, which is owned by The Trustees of Reservations and features the Paine House.  It’s one of 21 houses owned by our 1600’s relatives still in existance.  For details, see my post 17th Century Houses .

Payne House 2

ii. John Payne b. 1629 Suffolk, England; d. 13 Jul 1677 in Nantasket, Mass; m. 21 Sep 1657 to Elizabeth Cogswell (b. 1633)





Divided We Stand: Watertown, Massachusetts, 1630-1680 By Roger Thompson

The history and antiquities of Suffolk: Thingoe hundred By John Gage, John Gage Rokewode 1838

Paine family records: a journal of genealogical and biographical information Volume 1
edited by Henry D. Paine 1880


Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine, Volume 1 By Henry Sweetser Burrage, Albert Roscoe Stubbs

Posted in 14th Generation, Historical Church, Immigrant Coat of Arms, Line - Shaw | 10 Comments